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Korea Old and New: A History
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Korea Old and New: A History

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This presentation of the general history of Korea not only provides a detailed treatment of the post-1945 period, but describes the traditional historical-cultural milieu from which modern Korea has developed. The 20th century has witnessed a multiplicity of both domestic and external factors that have resulted either in tendentious history or in emphasis badly skewed towa ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published August 14th 1991 by Ilchokak Publishers
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Sarah
Very informative in dry way. I got the impression the authors were trying very hard to remain objective, which is fine, but they had an unfortunate tendency to skip past interesting bits. The book zooms past the little details that would make historical figures stand out as individuals with personalities. As an example, a person might be mentioned briefly as being legendary, but only in one sentence, and without the book saying *why* they were legendary. In the face of so many dry facts, I often ...more
morning Os
This is "the textbook" of Korean history used in American colleges. It tries to be as objective as possible so that it can detach itself from ideological fights between nationalist-leftists and nationalist-conserves. But the outcome is EXTREMELY DRY. It does not give a nice readable narrative with punctuations, and leaves the reader wondering "so what was important?" The best alternatives available for "modern" Korean history are: Bruce Cumings' Korea's Place in the Sun and Michael Robinson's Ko ...more
Georgene
A long, confusing history of Korea. It was confusing because I have little prior knowledge of Korean history. However, I persevered and was rewarded by the discovery of an intricate culture that, while borrowing heavily from Chinese culture, is uniquely its own.

Called "The Hermit Kingdom", Korea long sought isolation from both it's neighbors and from the West. In the end, it was the Japanese, with the connivance of the U.S., that made Korea a Japanese colony.

Korea's history is long, involved a
...more
Liz
While not concise, this book is quite complete and written well enough that the average person, knowing nothing about Korea, can read easily. And aside from spending a ridiculous amount of time on stone age stuff that no one really cares about (sorry stone age Koreans, but its true) it can be riveting stuff. For example, I think that the chapters on President Park Chung-Hee are particularly illuminating and balanced, given his controversial presidency and the enormous changes that took place dur ...more
Jonathan
A good, readable general history of Korea. Korea has been a united country since the 7th century CE up until its artificial division in 1945, was heavily influenced culturally by China and yet conquered by Japan and absorbed into the Japanese empire in the early 20th century. All this, plus a remarkably pure ethnic makeup, makes the history of Korea somewhat unique and goes part way to explain her economic success from the 1960s until the present day. A major drawback of this book is that the na ...more
Betsy
good for a complete overview of Korean history. Can get dry and a little confusing at times, with names just thrown around. But a good introduction.
Chris Garland
Extremely informative, and extremely dry. If you want to know more about Korean history, this is the book to read.
Joseph
Mar 30, 2010 Joseph is currently reading it
Apparently all of the history of Korea took place in order to give birth to South Korea
Sojyung
A textbook-- meticulously researched, dishearteningly dry.
Alex
Feb 21, 2010 Alex added it
Korea Old and New: A History by Carter J. Eckert (1991)
Sarah
Informative, but painfully dry.
Cgilson
Very, very dense. Academic.
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