The Korean War Remembered


The Korean War Remembered

Contested Memories of an Unended Conflict

Michael J. Devine 

Studies in War, Society, and the Military Series

346 pages
14 photographs, index


August 2023


$65.00 Pre-order

About the Book

Michael J. Devine provides a fresh, wide-ranging, and international perspective on the contested memory of the 1950–1953 conflict that left the Korean Peninsula divided along a heavily fortified demilitarized zone. His work examines “theaters of memory,” including literature, popular culture, public education efforts, monuments, and museums in the United States, China, and the two Koreas, to explain how the contested memories have evolved over the decades and continue to shape the domestic and foreign policies of the countries still involved in this unresolved struggle for dominance and legitimacy. The Korean War Remembered also engages with the revisionist school of historians who, influenced by America’s long nightmare in Vietnam, consider the Korean War an unwise U.S. interference in a civil war that should have been left to the Koreans to decide for themselves.

As a former Peace Corps volunteer to Korea, a two-time senior Fulbright lecturer at Korean universities, and former director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, Devine offers the unique perspective of a scholar with a half a century of close ties to Korea and the Korean American community, as well as practical experience in the management of historical institutions.

Author Bio

Michael J. Devine is an adjunct professor of history at the University of Wyoming. Previously he was the director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and a professor of history and director of the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming. He is the author of John W. Foster: Politics and Diplomacy in the Imperial Era, 1873–1917.


“Highly engaging. Perhaps most impressive about The Korean War Remembered is the extent of the coverage, not just over time but also geographically, with insightful sections on the People’s Republic of China and the two Koreas. Michael Devine shows an equally impressive grasp of how, say, Hollywood portrayed the war in the 1950s versus how various states, as well as the National Mall, have memorialized the conflict in recent decades.”—Steven Casey, author of Selling the Korean War: Propaganda, Politics, and Public Opinion, 1950–1953

“The strength of this study is the author’s effort to take a broad chronological overview that underscores change over time. While focused on the American memory of the Korean War, Michael Devine also places it in an international context.”—G. Kurt Piehler, author of A Religious History of the American GI in World War II

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Chapter I: The “Police Action”
Chapter II: Forging Memories
Chapter III: Lessons Learned
Chapter IV: Memorializing across America
Chapter V: The Korean War Veterans Memorial
Chapter VI: Conflicted Memories of Allies and Foes
Chapter VII: Memory, Truth, and Reconciliation

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