London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as … [Read More]

Spirit Power: Politics and Religion in Korea’s American Century

Spirit Power explores the manifestation of the American Century in Korean history with a focus on religious culture. It looks back on the encounter with American missionary power from the late nineteenth century, and the long political struggles against the country’s indigenous popular religious heritage during the colonial and postcolonial eras. The book brings an anthropology … [Read More]

Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop

South Korea has the most remarkable of histories. Born from the ashes of colonialism, partition and a devastating war, back in the 1950s there were real doubts about its survival as an independent state. Yet South Korea did survive, and first became known globally for the export of cheap toys, shoes and clothing. Today, South … [Read More]

Korea: A History

From the publisher’s website: The first English-language history of Korea that offers a balanced, comprehensive overview reflecting recent East Asian and Western scholarship While popular trends, cuisine, and long-standing political tension have made Korea familiar in some ways to a vast English-speaking world, those who follow K-Pop or North Korea’s nuclear weapons program have little … [Read More]

Redemption and Regret: Modernizing Korea in the Writings of James Scarth Gale

Redemption and Regret presents two previously unpublished typescripts of James Scarth Gale, a Canadian missionary to Korea for four decades (1888–1927). During his time in Korea, Gale developed into the foremost Western scholar of Korean history, language, and literature, completing the first translation of Korean literature into a Western language, the first translation of English … [Read More]

Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Korea

From the publisher’s website: South Korea (Republic of Korea) is the more successful of the two Koreas in both economic and political terms. Even the Asian economic crisis of 1997–1998, which hit badly, was weathered successfully, and when the next crisis came along in 2007, South Korea coped better than many other countries. This economic … [Read More]

Korea: A Very Short Introduction

From the publisher’s website: Having spent centuries in the shadows of its neighbours China and Japan, Korea is now the object of considerable interest for radically different reasons— the South as an economic success story and for its vibrant popular culture; the North as the home to one of the world’s most repressive regimes, at … [Read More]

A Brief History of Korea: Isolation, War, Despotism and Revival – The Fascinating Story of a Resilient But Divided People

From the publisher’s website: Exploring Korean history from its ancient roots to the present day, A Brief History of Korea is the story of a people with a rich and united culture that has become two Koreas in modern times—one isolated and secretive and the other among the world’s most successful economies. Korean culture developed on a … [Read More]

A Concise History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present

From the publisher’s website: Now in a fully revised and updated edition including new primary sources and illustrations, this comprehensive book surveys Korean history from Neolithic times to the present. Michael J. Seth explores the origins and development of Korean society, politics, and still little-known cultural heritage from their inception to the two Korean states … [Read More]

Historical Dictionary of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

From the publisher’s website: As Kim Jong Un approaches the seventh anniversary of his coming to power he has pushed the military back. The modified Constitution adopted in 2016 saw the demotion of the National Defense Council in favor of a new State Affairs Council which was a more party and government dominated body. He … [Read More]

Beyond Death: the politics of suicide and martyrdom in Korea

From the publisher’s website: Suicide and martyrdom are closely intertwined with Korean social and political processes. In this first book-length study of the evolving ideals of honorable death and martyrdom from the Chosŏn Dynasty (1392–1910) to contemporary South Korea, interdisciplinary essays explore the changing ways in which Korean historical agents have considered what constitutes a … [Read More]

A Genealogy of Dissent: The Progeny of Fallen Royals in Chosŏn Korea

From the publisher’s website: In early modern Korea, the Chosŏn state conducted an extermination campaign against the Kaesŏng Wang, descendants of the preceding Koryŏ dynasty. It was so thorough that most of today’s descendants are related to a single survivor. Before long, however, the Chosŏn dynasty sought to bolster its legitimacy as the successor of … [Read More]

A History of Korean Christianity

With a third of South Koreans now identifying themselves as Christian, Christian churches play an increasingly prominent role in the social and political events of the Korean peninsula. Sebastian C. H. Kim and Kirsteen Kim’s comprehensive and timely history of different Christian denominations in Korea includes surveys of the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions as … [Read More]

Transgression in Korea: Beyond Resistance and Control

From the publisher’s website: Since the turn of the millennium South Korea has continued to grapple with transgressions that shook the nation to its core. Following the serial killings of Korea’s raincoat killer, the events that led to the dissolution of the United Progressive Party, the criminal negligence of the owner and also the crew members … [Read More]

A History of Korea (Macmillan Essential Histories)

This accessible and engaging new edition continues to be one of the leading introductory textbooks on Korean history. Fully revised throughout, the author takes a thematic and chronological approach to guide readers from early state formation and the dynastic eras to the modern experience. Episodic accounts in each chapter are discussed in context with extensive … [Read More]

Under the Ancestors’ Eyes: Kinship, Status, and Locality in Premodern Korea

From the publisher’s website: Under the Ancestors’ Eyes presents a new approach to Korean social history by focusing on the origin and development of the indigenous descent group. Martina Deuchler maintains that the surprising continuity of the descent-group model gave the ruling elite cohesion and stability and enabled it to retain power from the early Silla (fifth century) … [Read More]