Download On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle Audiobook

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean Wars Greatest Battle Audiobook, by Hampton Sides Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Hampton Sides Narrator: David Pittu Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2018 ISBN: 9780735208551
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"On Desperate Ground is first-rate narrative history. Hampton Sides' characters are richly drawn, his background history engrossing, and his battle scenes bone-chillingly realistic--a great read."
--Daniel James Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War


On October 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the Communist forces of Kim Il-sung would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war.
As he was speaking, 300,000 Red Chinese soldiers began secretly crossing the Manchurian border. Led by some 20,000 men of the First Marine Division, the Americans moved deep into the snowy mountains of North Korea, toward the trap Mao had set for the vainglorious MacArthur along the frozen shores of the Chosin Reservoir. What followed was one of the most heroic--and harrowing--operations in American military history, and one of the classic battles of all time. Faced with probable annihilation, and temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below zero, the surrounded, and hugely outnumbered, Marines fought through the enemy forces with ferocity, ingenuity, and nearly unimaginable courage as they marched their way to the sea.
Hampton Sides' superb account of this epic clash relies on years of archival research, unpublished letters, declassified documents, and interviews with scores of Marines and Koreans who survived the siege. While expertly detailing the follies of the American leaders, On Desperate Ground is an immediate, grunt's-eye view of history, enthralling in its narrative pace and powerful in its portrayal of what ordinary men are capable of in the most extreme circumstances.
Hampton Sides has been hailed by critics as one of the best nonfiction writers of his generation. As the Miami Herald wrote, "Sides has a novelist's eye for the propulsive elements that lend momentum and dramatic pace to the best nonfiction narratives." Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A heart-pounding, fiercely written account of the brutal Chosin Reservoir Campaign during the Korean War. Every page pulsates with drama. Sides, an American master of nonfiction, has written one of the finest battle books ever.”

    Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author

  • Hampton Sides's On Desperate Ground is a heart-pounding, fiercely written account of the brutal Chosin Reservoir Campaign during the Korean War. Every page pulsates with drama. Sides, an American master of nonfiction, has written one of the finest battle books ever.
    Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of Rightful Heritage and The Wilderness Warrior

    "On Desperate Ground is first-rate narrative history. Hampton Sides' characters are richly drawn, his background history engrossing, and his battle scenes bone-chillingly realistic—a great read.
  • “On Desperate Ground is a masterpiece of war history, a sweeping and powerfully drawn epic of the Korean War and its mightiest battle. The astonishing heroism, resourcefulness, and grit of the Marines trapped at Chosin Reservoir boggles the mind, and Hampton Sides’s telling of the story largely through the voices of those who fought (including Koreans) makes for a spellbinding and moving narrative. One of the most harrowing accounts of war I have ever read, this book is destined to become a classic.
    Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God

    “What a book! Through moment-by-moment, intensely-researched details, On Desperate Ground utterly immerses the reader in this harrowing battle. Hampton Sides gives us a better understanding of the history behind current U.S. relations with Korea and China while offering a series of captivating profiles in human courage—an absolutely riveting read.
  • No one writes war and extreme life-and-death tales as vividly and authentically as Hampton Sides. As a veteran of the 1st Marine Division, I found his new book about one of the most desperate battles in American history to be riveting and beautifully told. Sides gets it all right, from the heroism of the Marines trapped in the frozen mountains to the chess moves of the generals and politicians who put them there. An incredible page-turner of a book, a must-read. William Broyles Jr, acclaimed screenwriter of Jarhead, Apollo 13, Flags of Our Fathers, and Cast Away
  • “Sides has done incredible work: the action is cinematic, with the detailed insights and character development of a novel. And it is all real....A masterpiece of storytelling about a war that is often given short shrift in American history. Readers will feel the fierce cold, the constant threat of death, and the desperation of being trapped and under siege felt by the U.S. Marines in Sides' vivid and invaluable history.
    Booklist (starred review)
     
  • A splendid account… Abundant heroism, vivid battle scenes, and nuanced treatment of the judicious, determined leadership of General Smith. Sides’s lucid assessment of the battles, leadership, politics, and key figures at the turning point of the war show how the First Marine Division’s commanders and fighting men staved off a nearly unprecedented military debacle. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • On Desperate Ground is first-rate narrative history. Hampton Sides’ characters are richly drawn, his background history engrossing, and his battle scenes bone-chillingly realistic—a great read.”

    Daniel James Brown, New York Times bestselling author

  • “In fall 1950, even as General. Douglas MacArthur persuaded President Harry Truman that China would not enter Korea in support of Kim Il-sung’s Communist forces, Chinese forces began crossing the border and encircled American troops at the Chosin Reservoir. New York Times bestselling author Sides’ you-are-there account.”

    Library Journal

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About the Author

Hampton Sides, a native of Memphis, is an award-winning editor of Outside and the author of the bestselling histories Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers. He lives in New Mexico with his wife and their three sons.

About the Narrator

David Pittu, a two-time Tony Award nominee, has narrated dozens of audiobooks, including Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which earned two prestigious Audie Awards for best narration. He has also won three Earphones Awards. Well-known for his work in theater, he has appeared off-Broadway in LoveMusik and Is He Dead, for which he received his Tony nominations, as well as Parade, for which he earned a National Broadway Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He is also a writer, member, and director of the Atlantic Theater company.