The Korean War, More than any other war in modern times, is surrounded by residues and slippages of memory. The Great War's place is indelible, its annihilating violence a permanent reminder of war's carnage. World War II was the good war, an outright victory to be celebrated. Vietnam tore the United States apart. With Korea there is less a presence than an absence; thus the default reflexive American name: "the forgotten war." For years I rejected the "forgotten war" rubric; the unknown war seemed much better. But for Americans Korea is both: a forgotten war and a never-known war. For Americans Korea is just one among several wars best forgotten, just another transient episode among a myriad of interventions in Third World countries that do not bear close examination, but have unsettling ways of coming back to haunt us. Book jacket.