The Encyclopedia of the Korean War

A Political, Social, and Military History, 2nd Edition

by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
Paul G. Pierpaoli, Jr., Documents Editor


When first published in 2000, The Encyclopedia of the Korean War was not only hailed as the most comprehensive work ever published on this pivotal yet often overlooked conflict—it was cited by Library Journal as the best reference of the year on any subject, with high praise from Booklist and the Society of School Librarians International as well. Now this landmark work returns in a meticulously updated new edition.

Print Flyer
Cover image for The Encyclopedia of the Korean War

April 2010


Pages 1393
Volumes 3
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars

A multidimensional, multidisciplinary work on one of the least understood but most important conflicts in modern history.

A cornerstone work in ABC-CLIO's distinguished list of reference works on military history, The Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History is a comprehensive resource on the confrontation that became the first shooting war of the Cold War, the first limited conflict of the Atomic Age, and the war that led to a dramatic escalation of the national security state while foreshadowing U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Encyclopedia of the Korean War offers complete coverage of strategies, weapon systems, and clashes that marked the course of events on the battlefield. But this authoritative, multidisciplinary work expands beyond the military perspective to portray the overall culture of the era, addressing a variety of political, economic, social, and popular culture topics as well. Incorporating a wealth of recent research, the new edition adds more than 130 entries and updated coverage throughout, plus more bibliographic listings, an expanded historiographical essay, and a documents volume.


  • 760 alphabetically organized entries covering all aspects of the Korean War era—military, political, economic, social, and cultural
  • Nearly 150 primary documents in a separate volume
  • More than 125 contributors, including both civilian professors from a wide range of disciplines as well as military officers
  • An updated historiographical essay compiled by Dr. Allan R. Millett, one of the nation's leading military historians and experts on the Korean War
  • More than 350 illustrations and 21 detailed maps
  • A chronology of the Korean War, a glossary, and a general bibliography


  • Provides a comprehensive, in-depth examination of a crucial moment in 20th-century history
  • Updates the award-winning first edition with a tremendous amount of additional information based on new discoveries and historical interpretations
  • Goes beyond battlefield recaps to explore the entire Korean War era, from the front lines to the home front
  • Includes a greatly expanded documents volume with full introductions for each primary source
Author Info

Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and was a Fulbright scholar in France. He was a U.S. Army captain and intelligence analyst in the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, then taught for 30 years at Texas Christian University before returning to his alma mater for 6 years as the holder of the John Biggs Chair of Military History. He retired from teaching in 2003. He is now Senior Fellow of Military History at ABC-CLIO. Dr. Tucker has written or edited 36 books, including ABC-CLIO's award-winning The Encyclopedia of the Cold War and The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, as well as the comprehensive A Global Chronology of Conflict.

Paul G. Pierpaoli, Jr., PhD, has authored Truman and Korea: The Political Culture of the Early Cold War and has written extensively on the economic, political, and social aspects of the Korean War. He holds a PhD in history from The Ohio State University and has been a faculty member at Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Arizona



"The first edition of this three-volume reference was published in 2000, and of course the war hasn't changed since then, but there has been enough new scholarship and new information uncovered to merit a second edition. In his preface and introductory essay, editor Tucker (emeritus, Texas Christian University) provides an overview of the significance of the 'forgotten war,' emphasizing its importance to the shape of world politics today. Following, in two volumes, are 750 alphabetically organized signed entries (from 125 contributors), 120 of which are new, and all of which have been updated or expanded. The third volume contains approximately 150 primary source documents. The set includes a chronology of the war (newly expanded with further detail on modern Korean history), a glossary, a bibliography, and many b&w maps and photos; indexing is included in each volume."Reference & Research Book News

"While there are a number of inexpensive one-volume titles available, such as Korean War: An Encyclopedia (Routledge, 1999) and Historical Dictionary of the Korean War (Scarecrow, 2010. 2d ed.), they present neither the scope nor the scholarship of Tucker's massive tomes. Buy this set or buy nothing at all. Strongly recommended for all public and academic libraries; should be a core collection item for all military and history libraries."Library Journal, Starred Review

"This is an excellent source for high-school, academic, and public libraries. The revisions and additions make it a good purchase even for libraries that own the first edition."Booklist

"...this encyclopedia is a well-organized, ready-reference tool that will be a very important acquisition, particularly for academic libraries supporting lower-level undergraduates, and for large public and school libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers."Choice

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

American Civil War cover imageAmerican Civil War cover imageVoices of Civil War America cover image
American Civil War cover imageWilliam T. Sherman cover imageUlysses S. Grant cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips