© 2021 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Investigating The Forgotten War's Greatest Battle With Hampton Sides


This encore interview originally aired in February, 2019.

In October of 1950, General Douglas MacArthur assured President Truman that the end of the Korean War was in sight, and that American soldiers would be home by Christmas. In fact, 300,000 Chinese soldiers were secretly crossing the Manchurian border, and setting a trap for some 20,000 US Marines along the frozen shores of the Chosin Reservoir.


In his book, On Desperate Ground, bestselling author Hampton Sides offers a vivid account of the ensuing battle. Facing probable annihilation and the worst Korean winter on record, with temperatures dipping to 20 below zero, the story of the “Chosin Few,” as they came to be known, is one of incredible fortitude, ingenuity, and courage.

Hampton Sides is an award-winning editor, journalist, and historian. He is an editor for Outside magazine, and has written for The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Washington Post. His previous books include the bestselling histories Hellhound on his Trial, Blood and Thunder, and Ghost Soldiers.