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Park Chung-Hee: From Poverty to Power

How do we explain Park Chung-Hee’s determination to push through the coup d’état in 1961 and the modernization programs afterward? How did his family’s poverty and his experiences in Manchuria, Japan, and China affect his later career as South Korea’s leader? How would he have answered his critics’ charge that he was a pro-Japanese collaborator and a Communist renegade? How can we explain his harsh suppression of domestic dissidents and opponents? In trying to answer these and other questions, Lee presents a kaleidoscopic history of modern Korea from the 1890s to the 1960s. Like Park, the author also grew up under Japanese rule and lived in Manchuria, where Park spent more than three years. This meticulously researched book uses Korean, Japanese, and English sources to put Park’s life into historical context.

Chong-Sik Lee’s previous works include The Politics of Korean Nationalism (1963), Communism in Korea (coauthored with Robert A. Scalapino, 1973, and the winner of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation award of the American Political Science Association as the best book of the year), Revolutionary Struggle in Manchuria (1983), and Japan and Korea: Political Dimension (1985). He has also published four biographies of Korean leaders. He is currently Professor of Political Science Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, and Eminent Professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea.

Source: Amazon

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