Reviews for Korea: Where the American Century Began:

Our Korea review: Michael Pembroke on the consequences of US failure in the ’50s

Reviewer: John Schauble – Sydney Morning Herald, Entertainment – 8 March, 2018

The 170-metre Juche tower in Pyongyang is a compulsory stop for visitors to the North Korean capital. The panorama of the entire city stretches out below. The spectacle of leaden Stalinist architecture led one among a group I was there with some years ago to ask of our guide: “Where is the old part of the city?”

There is no old city because, as Michael Pembroke notes, the US-led forces dropped a greater tonnage of bombs during the Korean conflict than in the Pacific theatre during World War II. Pyongyang was all but obliterated, its population dropping to just 50,000 under an intense carpet bombing campaign aimed at rendering it and every other North Korean city to rubble. For good measure, this was the first war in which napalm was used extensively, although its horror would only become apparent to a wider public during the Vietnam conflict.

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‘The colour and dash of Arthur Phillip’s extraordinary life, lived in amazing times in every corner of the world, is told just brilliantly in Michael Pembroke’s utterly absorbing book, designed to become a classic of Imperial literature.’
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