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Cumings on Korea critics
All four letters (February/04) are knee-jerk responses by people who combine attacks on my integrity as an historian with routine anticommunist views that have been around since the war started in 1950, but have no relation to what scholars know from years of archival research in formerly secret documents. Even the most conservative historians now know that Kim Il Sung’s role was much greater than Stalin’s in the invasion, and that Stalin sought first to restrain him and then refused to give him the military support he needed to take over the South—we know this from documents that came out after the USSR collapsed. But I don’t see the need to point this out to people who really have no interest in learning anything new about the Korean War but are grinding anticommunist axes in the wrong century.

Bruce Cumings, the Norman and Edna Freehling Professor of History

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