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Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History

Author:
Publisher: , 2005.
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

“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.

Originally publisher in 1997.

LKL says:

A real page-turner of a history book. I was so gripped that I read it like a novel, and now need to go back and read it as a history book. Gives a very useful overview of pre-20th century history, but focuses on the more recent history, which it reassesses from a perspective which didn’t get much airspace or sympathy at the time of the events in question. Essential reading for understanding contemporary Korea

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-2score-0

Entry on Goodreads.com here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or Bookshop.org for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to Bookshop.org and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.