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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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The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History

By Don Oberdorfer

Basic Books
Released: 2013-12-10
Paperback (560 pages)

The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History
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An acclaimed history of the Korean Peninsula from World War II to the present day
North Korea is an impoverished, famine-ridden nation, but it is also a nuclear power whose dictator Kim Jong-un regularly threatens his neighbors and adversaries, the United States in particular, with destruction. Even though Kim and President Donald Trump's responses to him dominate the daily headlines, the idea that North Korea is a menace is not a new one. Indeed, 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, veteran journalist Don Oberdorfer and Korea expert Robert Carlin grippingly describe how a historically homogenous people became locked in a perpetual struggle for supremacy--and how other nations including the United States have tried, and failed, to broker a lasting peace.

A Concise History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present

By Michael J. Seth

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Paperback (612 pages)

A Concise History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present
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  • Rowman Littlefield
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Now in a fully revised and updated edition, this comprehensive book surveys Korean history from Neolithic times to the present. Michael J. Seth explores the origins and development of Korean society, politics, and still little-known cultural heritage from their inception to the two Korean states of today. Telling the remarkable story of the origins and evolution of a society that borrowed and adopted from abroad, Seth describes how various tribal peoples in the peninsula came together to form one of the world’s most distinctive communities. He shows how this ancient, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society was wrenched into the world of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, fell victim to Japanese expansionism, and then became arbitrarily divided into two opposed halves, North and South, after World War II.

Tracing the seven decades since 1945, the book explains how the two Koreas, with their deeply different political and social systems and geopolitical orientations, evolved into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising start, became one of the few postcolonial developing states to enter the ranks of the first world, with a globally competitive economy, a democratic political system, and a cosmopolitan and dynamic culture. North Korea, by contrast, became one of the world’s most totalitarian and isolated societies, a nuclear power with an impoverished and famine-stricken population. Seth describes and analyzes the radically different and historically unprecedented trajectories of the two Koreas, formerly one tight-knit society. Throughout, he adds a rare dimension by placing Korean history into broader global perspective. All readers looking for a balanced, knowledgeable history will be richly rewarded with this clear and concise book.

A History of Korea (Macmillan Essential Histories)

By Kyung Moon Hwang

Palgrave MacMillan
Released: 2016-10-28
Paperback (296 pages)

A History of Korea (Macmillan Essential Histories)
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  • Palgrave MacMillan
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Presenting the richness of Korean civilization from early state formation to the jarring transformations resulting in two distinctive trajectories of modern development, this book introduces the country's major historical events, patterns, and debates. Organised both chronologically and thematically, it explore recurring themes such as Korean identity, external influence, and family and gender. This lively narrative assumes no prior knowledge, inviting readers to appreciate both the distinctiveness and universality of Korean history, while integrating it into East Asian history more broadly.

Fully revised throughout, this second edition explores recent developments in Korean history and places greater emphasis on historiography, with each chapter including extensive discussion of how the events and themes under consideration have been viewed up to the present day.

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

By Uzo Marvin

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (312 pages)

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

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

By Jinwung Kim

Indiana University Press
Released: 2012-11-05
Kindle Edition (708 pages)

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

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 War of 5.18 History in South Korea: The War of 5.18 History between Moon Jae-in and Chun Doo Whan (Korean Edition)

By Daeryeong Kim

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (480 pages)

The War of 5.18 History in South Korea: The War of 5.18 History between Moon Jae-in and Chun Doo Whan (Korean Edition)
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The primary language of the book entitled The War of 5.18 History in South Korea is Korean language with few occasional English texts. The subtitle of the current volume is The War of 5∙18 History between Moon Jae-in and Chun Doo Whan. While the primary language is Korean, all the 120 illustrations that appears on the book are important historical data which any non-Korean readers can grasp visually. This new book is much more complete, updated, and supplemented than Gwangju Uprising Overthrown by Moon Jae-in's 5·18 Tear, which was published nine months earlier.

If one wants to know what has been going wrong with the democracy of South Korea, especially under the oppressive regime of Moon Jae-in, this is the book one must read. The biggest lie ever told in history is the claim that Gwangju Uprising of May 1980 was a pro-democratic movement. How do you, then, explain the cover photo of the book which is from the 30th anniversary Gwangju People’s Uprising celebrated elaborately in North Korea? Does this mean North Korea is supporting democracy in South Korea? The answer is, of course, “No!” This is why now is a time to present the facts and truths of the incident, shattering and overthrowing the false narratives of Gwangju Uprising which was organized and led by pro-Communist, anti-American, and pro-North Korean groups.

The subtitle “The War of 5∙18 History between Moon Jae-in and Chun Doo Whan” indicates that the lie of Strongman Moon Jae-in and the truth of former President Chun Doo Whan are at war in a battle field where two oposite perspectives are competing. The battle is about how to view and understand 5∙18 Gwangju Uprising that happened in from May 18 to May 27 of 1980. The interpretation of modern Korean history is hinged on this perspective. Korean politics is heavily dependent on this. Those who have been fooled by the white lies, false rumors, fake news, wrong reports, and false narratives of Gwangju Uprising are now wondering what has misled democracy in South Korea.

The book is made up with three parts at large. The first chapter is about Strongman Moon Jae-in, about his political career that has been untold like a top secret. The second and third chapters are about President Park Geun-hye, about what happened to her in 2016-2017, and all about impeachment by fraud. The other chapters from Chapter Four to Chapter Twelve is about the truth and the real fact of Gwangju Uprising that took place in May 1980. It was an old incident of almost four decades ago. Yet, national discussion and investigation about the old incident is still going on as a form of what the book calls “The War of 5∙18 History between Moon Jae-in and Chun Doo Whan.

One aspect of the book is that it is a response to the sad joke to say that Moon Jae-in took a part in pro-democracy protest in his early days. One should ask to those who make such false claim: Since when Mr. Moon’s policy of pro-North Korean regime began? Just from May 2017? Everyone knows that it is nonsense to claim so. His pro-North Korean (and therefore anti-American) position has a historical root that goes back to 1970’s. For any scholars, researchers, and students who want to know what man Moon Jae-in really is this book is a good reference, especially in a time when the problem of North Korean nuclear program is a factor that affects global peace.

Thus, the book The War of 5.18 History in South Korea is not just about a past history. South Korea is a country where the past history is tightly linked to current political affairs. One cannot fully identify the substructure of Korean politics without first seeing the past history. Part of the book is meant to appeal to the international society to pay attention to the violation of human rights by Strongman Moon’s regime against President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached by fraud and imprisoned for no reason.

Nation Building in South Korea: Koreans, Americans, and the Making of a Democracy (The New Cold War History)

By Gregg A. Brazinsky

Brand: The University of North Carolina Press
Released: 2009-09-01
Paperback (328 pages)

Nation Building in South Korea: Koreans, Americans, and the Making of a Democracy (The New Cold War History)
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In this ambitious and innovative study Gregg Brazinsky examines American nation building in South Korea during the Cold War. Marshaling a vast array of new American and Korean sources, he explains why South Korea was one of the few postcolonial nations that achieved rapid economic development and democratization by the end of the twentieth century. Brazinsky contends that a distinctive combination of American initiatives and Korean agency enabled South Korea's stunning transformation. On one hand, Americans supported the emergence of a developmental autocracy that spurred economic growth in a highly authoritarian manner. On the other hand, Americans sought to encourage democratization from the bottom up by fashioning new institutions and promoting a dialogue about modernization and development.

Expanding the framework of traditional diplomatic history, Brazinsky examines not only state-to-state relations, but also the social and cultural interactions between Americans and South Koreans. He shows how Koreans adapted, resisted, and transformed American influence and promoted socioeconomic change that suited their own aspirations. Ultimately, Brazinsky argues, Koreans' capacity to tailor American institutions and ideas to their own purposes was the most important factor in the making of a democratic South Korea.

Korean History in Maps: From Prehistory to the Twenty-First Century

By Lee Injae & Park Jinhoon

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Paperback (200 pages)

Korean History in Maps: From Prehistory to the Twenty-First Century
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  • Cambridge University Press
Product Description:
Korean History in Maps is a beautifully presented, full-color atlas covering all periods of Korean history from prehistoric times to the present day. It is the first atlas of its kind to be specifically designed for students in English-speaking countries. There is a map for each era in Korean history, showing every major kingdom or polity that existed on the Korean peninsula, and maps are also included for topics of additional historical interest, including each major war that took place. In addition, the atlas contains chronologies, lists of monarchs, and overviews of the politics, economy, society, and culture for each era which are complemented by numerous photos and full color images of artifacts, paintings, and architectural structures. This fascinating historical atlas is a complete reference work and unique teaching tool for all scholars and students of Korean and East Asian history.


 
 
 

 
 
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