Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 2014.
Link to online store *
From the publisher’s website:
How did a really unhip country suddenly become cool?
How could a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men and rock ‘n’ roll come to mass produce pop music and a K-pop star that would break the world record for the most YouTube hits?
Who would have predicted that a South Korean company that used to sell fish and fruit (Samsung) would one day give Apple a run for its money?
And just how does South Korea plan to use pop culture to beat America at its own game.
Welcome to South Korea: The Brand.
In The Birth of Korean Cool, journalist Euny Hong uncovers the roots of the ‘Korean Wave’: a fanaticism for South Korean pop culture that has enabled them to make the rest of the world a captive market for their products by first becoming the world’s number one pop culture manufacturer.
South Korea’s economic development has been nothing short of staggering – leapfrogging from third-world to first-world in just a few years and continuing to grow at a rapid and unprecedented rate – and for the first time The Birth of Korean Cool will give readers exclusive insight into the inner workings of this extraordinary country; it’s past, present and future.
Euny Hong’s first non-fiction book is in turn infuriating, entertaining and informative. Overall, as an introduction to contemporary Korea this is one of the livelier books available and can be recommended to the newcomer. But as a description of “how one nation is conquering the world through pop culture” a more thorough argument is necessary.
* 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.