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Korea: A Very Short Introduction

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Having spent centuries in the shadows of its neighbours China and Japan, Korea is now the object of considerable interest for radically different reasons-- the South as an economic success story and for its vibrant popular culture; the North as the home to one of the world's most repressive regimes, at once both bizarre and menacing. This Very Short Introduction explores th Having spent centuries in the shadows of its neighbours China and Japan, Korea is now the object of considerable interest for radically different reasons-- the South as an economic success story and for its vibrant popular culture; the North as the home to one of the world's most repressive regimes, at once both bizarre and menacing. This Very Short Introduction explores the history, culture, and society of a deeply divided region. Michael Seth considers what it means to be Korean, and analyses how the various peoples of the Korean peninsula became one of the world's most homogeneous nations, before exploring how this nation evolved, in a single lifetime, into today's sharply contrasting societies. He also discusses how Korea fits into the larger narrative of both East Asian and world history, economically, politically, and socially. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


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Having spent centuries in the shadows of its neighbours China and Japan, Korea is now the object of considerable interest for radically different reasons-- the South as an economic success story and for its vibrant popular culture; the North as the home to one of the world's most repressive regimes, at once both bizarre and menacing. This Very Short Introduction explores th Having spent centuries in the shadows of its neighbours China and Japan, Korea is now the object of considerable interest for radically different reasons-- the South as an economic success story and for its vibrant popular culture; the North as the home to one of the world's most repressive regimes, at once both bizarre and menacing. This Very Short Introduction explores the history, culture, and society of a deeply divided region. Michael Seth considers what it means to be Korean, and analyses how the various peoples of the Korean peninsula became one of the world's most homogeneous nations, before exploring how this nation evolved, in a single lifetime, into today's sharply contrasting societies. He also discusses how Korea fits into the larger narrative of both East Asian and world history, economically, politically, and socially. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

40 review for Korea: A Very Short Introduction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Jaakkola

    Very interesting, although this really should be split into several books like with the VSIs of eg Modern Japan or Modern China. A lot of the book is spent covering more of the ancient history rather than the more modern one, and it felt like the book ended just as it was getting really interesting. The book gave a lot of facts but at times little cultural/sociological analysis as to why things were the way they were or why eg Korea has become so big on cosmetic surgery (not mentioned at all) or Very interesting, although this really should be split into several books like with the VSIs of eg Modern Japan or Modern China. A lot of the book is spent covering more of the ancient history rather than the more modern one, and it felt like the book ended just as it was getting really interesting. The book gave a lot of facts but at times little cultural/sociological analysis as to why things were the way they were or why eg Korea has become so big on cosmetic surgery (not mentioned at all) or about why the society still holds to very patriarchal values even though there has been progress in many other ways? Why so many abandoned and adopted babies? I hope at some point there will be a ‘Modern Korea’ version that will better touch on these topics and a analyse them.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Definitely one of the better Very Short Introduction titles. Goes over the Korean War at a very quick pace, but I'd say this is one of the things I like the most about it - spends the time instead talking about the development of Korea on a grand scale instead of picking out specific battles. Very potent stuff - my guess is nearly anyone will learn a few things in this very quick read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I did find out more than I ever knew about Korea here (which wouldn't take much).Most of the book deals with the history of the whole peninsula and then moves to more specifics about the current North and South Korean nations. Definitely a "short introduction", so don't expect an in-depth history or sociology.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Coke

    Interesting in parts but laboured.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Samworth

    Actually really enjoyed this. I knew very little about Korea previous to reading this. I can't wait to read the Modern China and Modern Japan versions. Uni reading list going well so far!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fran Burstall

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joe P

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maria Leisin

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Roxie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Spachuk

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nana Andersen

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dеnnis

  17. 4 out of 5

    Haitong Du

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Sibley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  22. 4 out of 5

    Atul

  23. 4 out of 5

    Allison Crummy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luke

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mads

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rute

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Blay

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tabby

  30. 5 out of 5

    SigurSof

  31. 5 out of 5

    Adriana

  32. 4 out of 5

    Bird

  33. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kaley

  35. 5 out of 5

    Malika

  36. 4 out of 5

    John

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jonas Moss

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Eloise

  40. 4 out of 5

    Gokce Turkoglu

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