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Samuel F. Wells Jr's Fearing The Worst (2019) Now Published in Korean

Samuel F. Wells’ Fearing the Worst (2019) explores how key military and political decisions influenced both the escalation of conflict during the Korean War and its legacy’s impact on postwar competition. The book was most recently translated to Korean and published by Hanul M Plus under the translated title The Korean War and the Cold War Era.

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Samuel F. Wells’ Fearing the Worst: How Korea Transformed the Cold War (2019) explores how key military and political decisions influenced both the escalation of conflict during the Korean War and its legacy’s impact on postwar competition. Originally published by Columbia University Press in English, the book was most recently translated to Korean and published by Hanul M Plus under the translated title The Korean War and the Cold War Era.

Fearing the Worst explains how key decisions influenced the direction of the Korean War and how the postwar competition between the United States and the Soviet Union shifted into a militarized confrontation as a result of the Korean War. Bringing together studies of military policy and diplomacy with the roles of technology, intelligence, and domestic politics in each of the principal nations, Wells offers a new lens to view the Korean War and its legacy. Wells analyzes the key decision points that changed the course of the war by drawing on newly available documents and memoirs. He also provides vivid profiles of the central actors as well as important but lesser known figures. Earlier this year, Wells discussed his book on Wilson Center Now with John Milewski. Even more recently, while commenting on his translated publication, Wells remarks: 

The editors and several Korean journalists think this is promising timing for the publication because a great deal of public attention is focused on XI Jinping's speech on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese intervention in Korea hailing the Korean War as a great victory for the Chinese Communist Party.  The media are also concentrating on the prospect of improved South Korean relations with the Biden administration. ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha arrived in Washington yesterday for a meeting with Mike Pompeo and conversations with top Biden advisers.

Samuel Wells is a valued member of the Wilson Center community, where he has served as the Associate Director and Deputy Director of the Wilson Center in addition to serving as Director of West European Studies. Wells also founded the Wilson Center’s International Security program in 1977 and directed this program until 1985. In addition to Fearing the Worst, Wells previously published The Korean War: Miscalculation and Alliance Transformation (2010). Other publications of his include: Centralizing Power: Domestic Considerations in the Shaping and Implementation of the War on Terror after 9/11 in Pierre Melandri and Serge Ricard (eds.);  The Strategic Triangle: France, Germany, and the United States in the Shaping of the New Europe (2006);  La Politique exterieure des Etats-Unis au XXe siecle: le poids des determinants interieurs (2007); and with Sherrill Brown Wells, Shared Sovereignty in the European Union: Germany’s Economic Governance (2010).

Contributor

Samuel Wells

Samuel Wells

Cold War Fellow and Member, History and Public Policy Program Advisor Board;
Former Deputy and Associate Director, Woodrow Wilson Center; Former Director, West European Studies Program, Woodrow Wilson Center
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