MixedThe Washington PostHis book is timely, readable and deeply researched. It is also exasperating. Pembroke all but ignores the spectacularly prosperous and democratic state South Korea has become—with the steady help of the United States. He mostly sidesteps the cruelty and incompetence of North Korea’s founding dictator ... With a polemicist’s distaste for ambiguity, Pembroke cherry-picks events of the Korean War, emphasizing American outrages that support his argument while omitting successful U.S. efforts to confine the conflict’s savagery ... Yet Pembroke\'s book...does deliver crucial information that Americans need to understand the permanent crisis in northeastern Asia ... For readers capable of looking beyond an America First understanding of how the world works, Pembroke’s analysis is chillingly relevant.
RaveThe Washington Post...a superb account of the greatest battle of the Korean War ... As narrative history, the book is a masterpiece of thorough research, deft pacing and arresting detail. As an allegory for America’s current leadership predicament, it is nothing less than terrifying ... In On Desperate Ground, Sides focuses his considerable narrative gifts on the human consequences of that failure.