Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture” as Want to Read:
The Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The Koreans: understanding a people and their culture through key words and language.

Koreans have a unique character and personality that sets them apart from all other Asians. And although Korean attitudes and behavior may be influenced by the modern world, the Korean mindset is still very much shaped by ancient culture and traditions. As is the case with all ancient cult
Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 10th 2012 by Tuttle Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Korean Mind, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Korean Mind

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Tasha Swinney
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Meh. This book was organized in a highly illogical way, it repeats itself often, apparently there are spelling mistakes in the Hangul, and although it has good information, it's mostly information that you could find out through other sources in a more enjoyable way. Instead of going from subject to subject, the author wrote short chapters based on important Korean words, and then organized the entries alphabetically. It's a glossary, not a narrative. So you might go from the word Chimsul, Needi ...more
Oh Lord. I said I didn't finish this. I COULDN'T. (1) He has yellow fever in a bad way. And he's kind of creepy like that about the whole culture. All this culture-comparing theorising and condescending apologia. (2) This book is LONG and REPETITIOUS like nobody's business. It's short essays like The Japanese Mind, but ALL OF THEM overlap with ALL OF THEM. It's unbelievable.

Having said that - his approach of identifying themes in the culture is what I go for. And he does cover things pretty comp
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback
I've been picking at this book ever since I got it. The sections are arranged alphabetically and usually only a page or two in length. I've been able to zoom in on some of the concepts that have puzzled me from Korean TV as well as idly pick up and flip to a random section to learn something I haven't encountered yet. I really appreciate this unusual format.
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This book has a lot of interesting information in it and could really be informative...except for the way it's structured. Rather than a book of chapters, leading the reader intelligently from one topic to the next this book is structured more like an encyclopedia with everything arranged alphabetically. This means that two topics that seemingly go together like aboji (father) and omoni (mother) are nowhere near each other and you either have to jump all over the book to read about connecting to ...more
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the overview of Korean culture that the book provided. I learned about the historical background of the Korean people and their rough history of being frequently invaded by their neighbors, ancestor worship, family dynamics, etc. However, as mentioned in other reviews, the author frequently misspelled the Korean words (a close Korean friend looked over the book) and frequently repeated topics and facts that had been mentioned previously in the book. While interesting, by the end of the ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A nice book that has a lot of content on the South Korean culture for a foreigner like me. It is a messy read. There is no order whatsoever, it should be divided topic by topic (would make things easier) The hangul in this book should only be used as a guide and not as a reference because there are mistakes.
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: korea, read-in-2014, asia
I haven't read the entire book, but the entire free preview on Amazon Kindle.
The book introduces cultural words or phrases, and then explains what they mean, what the historical roots are, and how they have effected Korean culture in the past and in the present.
I found it very insightful and helpful in understanding the Korean people, their history, and their modern culture.
Catarina PBatista
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Extremely helpful if someone wants to know more about Korean culture and mindset and is looking for a guide (of sorts) to help them understand Koreans and why they are who they are!

In my opinion I was looking for a more informal and personal book, but found something very methodical and practical. Still good, but not quite what I was expecting *
Thomas Jung
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting perspective of Korean culture from an non-Korean scholar. Spot on in most aspects, but some exaggerated portions did exist. Overall, it was a great read and I'd highly recommend it if you're looking to dive into Korean culture. I would suggest more references though.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Some interesting points made, but there were too many spelling mistakes (in the hangul).
Jason Vivian
rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2013
rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2017
Mauricio Santoro
rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2018
Yana Seredinskaya
rated it it was ok
Feb 19, 2017
rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2018
rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2018
rated it it was ok
Dec 21, 2016
Zefanya Novianti
rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2017
rated it it was ok
May 13, 2014
rated it liked it
Jul 24, 2017
Chris  Mireault
rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2017
rated it liked it
Nov 02, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2017
rated it it was ok
Sep 25, 2017
rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2014
rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2017
Sarah ^·^
rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2013
Tom Oman
rated it it was amazing
Nov 21, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Boyé Lafayette De Mente has been involved with Japan, China, Korea and Mexico since the late 1940s as a member of a U.S. intelligence agency, student, journalist, editor and author working out of Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. He is a graduate of Jochi University in Tokyo, and The American Institute for Foreign Trade (in 1953), now Thunderbird School of Global Management, in G ...more
More about Boyé Lafayette de Mente

Nonfiction Deals

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Peace and Rest
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Manifest Your Destiny: Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Ev
    $11.74 $1.99
  • A Three Dog Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
    $7.99 $2.99
  • My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
    $6.99 $0.99
  • Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
    $19.99 $2.99
  • The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
    $14.99 $2.99
  • I'd Rather Be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific
    $10.99 $1.99
  • America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Dear Bob and Sue
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Hello Mornings: How to Build a Grace-Filled, Life-Giving Morning Routine
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life's Riches
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Sea Around Us
    $17.99 $1.99
  • This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century
    $11.99 $3.99
  • The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Jackie, Janet & Lee: The Secret Lives of Janet Auchincloss and Her Daughters, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just the Funny Parts: My 30 Years on the Hollywood Jungle Gym
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
    $8.99 $2.49
  • The Millionaire Fastlane
    $7.99 $2.49
  • Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive (Mental Mastery Book 1)
    $9.99 $3.49
  • Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
    $11.99 $1.99
“Confucius himself taught that the more laws a society has, the less people will obey them and that societies that depend on laws to control the behavior of their citizens will eventually self-destruct.” 0 likes
More quotes…