The Scariest Place in the World
A Marine Returns to North Korea
By James Brady
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312332426, 288pp.)
Publication Date: March 24, 2005
List Price: $24.95*
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Half a century after he fought there as a young lieutenant of Marines, James Brady returns to the brooding Korean ridgelines and mountains to sound Taps for a generation. It's been 15 years since Brady first wrote of Korea in The Coldest War, drawing raves from Walter Cronkite and The New York Times, which called it "a superb personal memoir of the way it was."
In the spring of 2003 Brady and Pulitzer-winning combat photographer Eddie Adams, a couple of old Marines, "gentlemen rankers off on a spree," flew in Black Hawk choppers and trekked the Demilitarized Zone where it meanders into North Korea, interviewing four-star generals and bunking in with tough U.S. Recon troops, in Brady's words, "raw meat on the point of a sharpened stick." The two Marine veterans bond with this handful of youthful GIs confronting the loopy and nuclear saber-rattling North, in a contemporary Korea which just might become the war we have to fight next. Brady recalls that first time on bloody Hill 749, the men who died there, what happened to the Marines who lived to make it home, and experiences yet again the emotional pull of a lifelong love affair with the Corps in which they all served.
With consummate skill James Brady summons up the past and illuminates the present, be it the Korea of "the forgotten war", the Yanks who fought there long ago or today's soldiers standing wary sentinel over "the scariest place in the world". The result is uplifting, inspiring, often heart-breaking, and this new Brady memoir proves as powerful as his first.
James Brady commanded a Marine rifle platoon during the Korean War and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor. He wrote weekly for Parade Magazine and for Advertising Age. He lived in Manhattan and in East Hampton, New York.