From the publisher’s website:
What history, pop culture, and diaspora can teach us about North and South Korea today.
Korea is one of the last divided countries in the world. Twins born of the Cold War, one is vilified as an isolated, impoverished, time-warped state with an abysmal human rights record and a reclusive leader who perennially threatens global security with his clandestine nuclear weapons program. The other is lauded as a thriving democratic and capitalist state with the thirteenth largest economy in the world and a model for developing countries to emulate.
In The Koreas, Theodore Jun Yoo provides a compelling gateway to understanding the divergent developments of contemporary North and South Korea. In contrast to standard histories, Yoo examines the unique qualities of the Korean diaspora experience, challenging the master narratives of national culture, homogeneity, belongingness, and identity. This book draws from the latest research to present a decidedly demythologized history, with chapters focusing on feature stories that capture the key issues of the day as they affect popular culture and everyday life. The Koreas will be indispensable to any historian, armchair or otherwise, in need of a discerning and reliable guide to the region.
Theodore Jun Yoo is Associate Professor in the Department of Korean Language and Literature at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. He is the author of The Politics of Gender in Colonial Korea and It’s Madness.
Introduction: Land of Exile
1 Out of the Ashes of War: The 1950s
2 Dependent Capitalist Development or a Path of Self-Reliance?
3 Sex, Hair, and Flower Power: The 1970s
4 The Long 1980s
5 Civilian Rule and the End of a Dynasty
6 Kim-chic or the Axis of Evil? Korea and the World
7 Korea in the World
Epilogue: The Land of Morning Calm