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Travel Guide 2   >   South Korea   >   History

   
 

Korean History


Here are some books about the history of the Republic of Korea:


Comments about Korean History


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Books about Korean History


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Korea: The Impossible Country

By Daniel Tudor

Daniel Tudor
Released: 2012-11-10
Hardcover (336 pages)

Korea: The Impossible Country
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  • Korea The Impossible Country
Product Description:
South Korea's amazing rise from the ashes: the inside story of an economic, political, and cultural phenomenon

Long overshadowed by Japan and China, South Korea is a small country that happens to be one of the great national success stories of the postwar period. From a failed state with no democratic tradition, ruined and partitioned by war, and sapped by a half-century of colonial rule, South Korea transformed itself in just fifty years into an economic powerhouse and a democracy that serves as a model for other countries. With no natural resources and a tradition of authoritarian rule, Korea managed to accomplish a second Asian miracle.

Daniel Tudor is a journalist who has lived in and written about Korea for almost a decade. In Korea: The Impossible Country, Tudor examines Korea's cultural foundations; the Korean character; the public sphere in politics, business, and the workplace as well as the family, dating, and marriage. In doing so, he touches on topics as diverse as shamanism, clan-ism, the dilemma posed by North Korea, the myths about doing business in Korea, the Koreans' renowned hard-partying ethos, and why the infatuation with learning English is now causing huge social problems.

South Korea has undergone two miracles at once: economic development and complete democratization. The question now is, will it become as some see Japan, a rich yet aging society, devoid of energy and momentum? Or will the dynamism of Korean society and its willingness to change—as well as the opportunity it has now to welcome outsiders into its fold—enable it to experience a third miracle that will propel it into the ranks of the world's leading nations in terms of human culture, democracy, and wealth?

More than just one journalist's account, Korea: The Impossible Country also draws on interviews with many of the people who made South Korea what it is today. These include:
  • Choi Min-sik, the star of "Old Boy".
  • Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul.
  • Soyeon Yi, Korea's first astronaut Hong Myung-bo, legendary captain of Korea's 2002 FIFA World Cup team.
  • Shin Joong-hyun, the 'Godfather of Korean Rock'.
  • Ko Un, poet.
  • Hong Seok-cheon, restaurateur, and the first Korean celebrity to 'come out'.

And many more, including a former advisor to President Park Chung-hee; a Shaman priestess ('mudang'); the boss of Korea's largest matchmaking agency; a 'room salon' hostess; an architect; as well as chefs, musicians, academics, entrepreneurs, homemakers, and chaebol conglomerate employees.

The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History

By Don Oberdorfer

Don Oberdorfer
Released: 2013-12-10
Paperback (560 pages)

The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History
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  • The Two Koreas
Product Description:
Ever since Korea was first divided at the end of World War II, the tension between its northern and southern halves has riveted—and threatened to embroil—the rest of the world. In this landmark history, now thoroughly revised and updated in conjunction with Korea expert Robert Carlin, veteran journalist Don Oberdorfer grippingly describes how a historically homogenous people became locked in a perpetual struggle for supremacy—and how they might yet be reconciled.

Korea: A Walk Through the Land of Miracles

By Simon Winchester

Winchester, Simon
Released: 2005-05-31
Paperback (336 pages)

Korea: A Walk Through the Land of Miracles
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  • Harper Perennial
Product Description:

In the late 1980s, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester set out on foot to discover the Republic of Korea -- from its southern tip to the North Korean border -- in order to set the record straight about this enigmatic and elusive land.

Fascinating for its vivid presentation of historical and geographic detail, Korea is that rare book that actually defines a nation and its people. Winchester's gift for capturing engaging characters in true, compelling stories provides us with a treasury of enchanting and informed insight on the culture, language, history, and politics of this little-known corner of Asia.

With a new introduction by the author, Korea is a beautiful journey through a mysterious country and a memorable addition to the many adventures of Simon Winchester.

South Korea (Country Explorers)

By Jennifer A Miller

Lerner Classroom
Paperback (48 pages)

South Korea (Country Explorers)
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Pack your bags! Were headed to South Korea. On this whirlwind tour, youll learn all about the countrys landscape, culture, people, and more. Well explore coastal islands and mountain ranges, enjoy traditional pansori music, and try a popular dish of pickled vegetables. A special section introduces South Koreas capital, language, population, and flag. Hop on board and take a fun-filled look at your world.

South Korea History: Origins of the Korean Nation, The Three Kingdoms Period, The Society, Cultural Identity, Economy, Government

By Henry Albinson

Released: 2016-03-07
Kindle Edition (272 pages)

South Korea History: Origins of the Korean Nation, The Three Kingdoms Period, The Society, Cultural Identity, Economy, Government
 
Product Description:
South Korea history, South Korea Cultural Identity, South Korea Education, South Korea Religion, South Korea Economy, South Korea Government, South Korea culture, South Korea travel guide.
A small country, approximately the size of Britain, Korea is located on a peninsula that protrudes southward from the northeastern corner of the Asian continent. It is an old country, whose people evolved as one nation from the seventh century until 1945, when the country was divided by the United States and the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The ensuing cold war created two Korean governments, one in the north known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and another in the south known as the Republic of Korea (ROK). The two Koreas engaged in a bitter war between 1950 and 1953 and remained divided as of 1990, even though the two governments began talk to each other in 1971.
South Korea and North Korea took distinctly different paths of development after they were divided. By 1990 North Korea had emerged as a staunch communist society, while South Korea was evolving into a liberal democracy after many years of military dictatorship. The two societies, however, shared a common tradition and culture

Complete Guide to North Korea (DRPK): Authoritative Coverage of Nuclear and Missile Programs, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Confrontations with South Korea, Military, History, Economy, and Human Rights

By U.S. Government, U.S. Military, White House & U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence

Independently published
Paperback (575 pages)

Complete Guide to North Korea (DRPK): Authoritative Coverage of Nuclear and Missile Programs, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, Confrontations with South Korea, Military, History, Economy, and Human Rights
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This massive compilation provides a complete picture of North Korea and its threatening nuclear weapon and missile programs with hundreds of pages of up-to-date information, featuring professional analysis and background data about the nation and its leadership. There is coverage of the government, military, human rights, and much more. The U.S. response to nuclear and missile testing, confrontations with South Korea, and changes in the dictatorship is included; extensive histories put the current situation into perspective. There is material from many agencies of the American government, including the experts at the Federal Research Division. North Korean country background data provides data on key parameters, people and history, industry, natural resources, and more. The Library of Congress Federal Research Division Country Study is an exceptional review of North Korea and its history. Contents: Chapter 1: North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues * Chapter 2: State Department, White House, Department of Defense Material on North Korean Issues including Nuclear and Missile Programs, South Korean Attacks, Diplomacy * Chapter 3: North Korea Country Background Data (State Department and CIA) * Chapter 4: Human Rights Report: Democratic People's Republic of Korea * Chapter 5: North Korea: A Country Study * Chapter 6: North Korea Country Handbook, Marine Corps Intelligence Handbook - North Korea Military Equipment Recognition North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues - This report summarizes what is known from open sources about the North Korean nuclear weapons program—including weapons-usable fissile material and warhead estimates—and assesses current developments in achieving denuclearization. Little detailed open-source information is available about the DPRK's nuclear weapons production capabilities, warhead sophistication, the scope and success of its uranium enrichment program, or extent of its proliferation activities. In total, it is estimated that North Korea has between 30 and 50 kilograms of separated plutonium, enough for at least half a dozen nuclear weapons. While North Korea's weapons program has been plutonium-based from the start, in the past decade, intelligence emerged pointing to a second route to a bomb using highly enriched uranium. North Korea openly acknowledged a uranium enrichment program in 2009, but has said its purpose is the production of fuel for nuclear power. In November 2010, North Korea showed visiting American experts early construction of a 100 MWT light-water reactor and a newly built gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant, both at the Yongbyon site. The North Koreans claimed the enrichment plant was operational, but this has not been independently confirmed. U.S. officials have said that it is likely other, clandestine enrichment facilities exist. A February 2012 announcement commits North Korea to moratoria on nuclear and long-range missile testing as well as uranium enrichment suspension at Yongbyon under IAEA monitoring. North Korea: A Country Study: Comprehensive, unique, and up-to-date information and professional analysis of North Korean political, economic, social, military, and national security systems and institutions, written by the experts at the Federal Research Division. Contents: Country Profile * Chapter 1. Historical Setting * The Origins Of The Korean Nation * Korea In The Nineteenth-Century * The Rise Of Korean Nationalism And The Three Kingdoms Period * Paekche * Silla * Korea under Silla * The Choson Dynasty * Florescence * Dynastic Decline * World Order * Japanese Colonialism, 1910–45 * Communism * National Division In The 1940s * Tensions In The 1940s * U.S. And Soviet Occupations * The Arrival Of Kim Il Sung * The Establishment Of The Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea * The Korean War, 1950–53 * much more.

The New Koreans: The Story of a Nation

By Michael Breen

Breen Michael
Released: 2017-04-04
Hardcover (480 pages)

The New Koreans: The Story of a Nation
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  • The New Koreans The Story of a Nation
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Just a few decades ago, the South Koreans were an impoverished, agricultural people. In one generation they moved from the fields to Silicon Valley. They accomplished this through three totally unexpected miracles: economic development, democratization, and the arrival of their culture to global attention.

Who are the Koreans? What are they like? The New Koreans examines how they have been perceived by outsiders, the features that color their “national character,” and how their emergence from backwardness, poverty, and brutality happened. It also looks at why they remain unhappy―with the lowest birth rates and highest suicide rates in the developed world.

In The New Koreans, Michael Breen provides compelling insight into the history and character of this fascinating nation of South Korea, and casts an eye to future developments, as well as across the DMZ into North Korea.

Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History (Updated)

By Bruce Cumings Ph.D.

W. W. Norton
Paperback (544 pages)

Korea s Place in the Sun: A Modern History (Updated)
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"Passionate, cantankerous, and fascinating. Rather like Korea itself."--Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times Book Review

Korea has endured a "fractured, shattered twentieth century," and this updated edition brings Bruce Cumings's leading history of the modern era into the present. The small country, overshadowed in the imperial era, crammed against great powers during the Cold War, and divided and decimated by the Korean War, has recently seen the first real hints of reunification. But positive movements forward are tempered by frustrating steps backward. In the late 1990s South Korea survived its most severe economic crisis since the Korean War, forcing a successful restructuring of its political economy. Suffering through floods, droughts, and a famine that cost the lives of millions of people, North Korea has been labeled part of an "axis of evil" by the George W. Bush administration and has renewed its nuclear threats. On both sides Korea seems poised to continue its fractured existence on into the new century, with potential ramifications for the rest of the world. 25 illustrations

A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict

By Jinwung Kim

Brand: Indiana University Press
Released: 2012-11-05
Hardcover (720 pages)

A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict
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Contemporary North and South Korea are nations of radical contrasts: one a bellicose totalitarian state with a failing economy; the other a peaceful democracy with a strong economy. Yet their people share a common history that extends back more than 3,000 years. In this comprehensive new history of Korea from the prehistoric era to the present day, Jinwung Kim recounts the rich and fascinating story of the political, social, cultural, economic, and diplomatic developments in Korea’s long march to the present. He provides a detailed account of the origins of the Korean people and language and the founding of the first walled-town states, along with the advanced civilization that existed in the ancient land of "Unified Silla." Clarifying the often complex history of the Three Kingdoms Period, Kim chronicles the five-century long history of the Choson dynasty, which left a deep impression on Korean culture. From the beginning, China has loomed large in the history of Korea, from the earliest times when the tribes that would eventually make up the Korean nation roamed the vast plains of Manchuria and against whom Korea would soon define itself. Japan, too, has played an important role in Korean history, particularly in the 20th century; Kim tells this story as well, including the conflicts that led to the current divided state. The first detailed overview of Korean history in nearly a quarter century, this volume will enlighten a new generation of students eager to understand this contested region of Asia.

The History of Korea (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)

By Djun Kil Kim

Greenwood
Paperback (232 pages)

The History of Korea (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)
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The Koreas are two of the few countries in the East Asian world to successfully maintain political and cultural independence from China. Originated by the Han-Ye-Maek people who had migrated from North China to Manchuria and the Korean peninsula since 2000 BCE, three Korean dynasties―Great Silla, Koryo, and Choson―kept peace and prosperity in the country since the 7th century, nurturing a civilization based on Buddhism, Confucianism and the East Asian world-system. Korea, despite experiencing Japanese dominion and the nation's division, now looks forward to enjoying its prosperity as a member of the global community and to seeing a unified Korea. This volume provides a comprehensive review of Korea's history, from its roots in Neolithic civilization, and the tradition and evolution of nation-building in the traditional East Asian world system, through Korea's global setting in modern times. Also included are a biographical section highlighting famous figures in Korean history, a timeline of important historical events, a glossary of Korean terms, and a bibliographical essay with suggestions for further reading.

The historical origin of Korean identity in the East Asian world, Korea's failure to adapt to a changing East Asian world-system, as well as the political division Korea suffered in the second half of the 20th century are discussed. Readers will benefit from the inclusion of direct translations from original classical Chinese and Korean sources by the author. Excellent as a reference tool for students and general readers interested in the history of this unique nation.



 
 
 

 
 
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