London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The Dawn of War in South Korea (1947-1950): The South Korean Workers’ Party and the April Third Massacre [forthcoming]

This book offers an analytical account of the April Third Massacre in Korea, a bloody confrontation between supporters of the Syngman Rhee Administration and those suspected (largely incorrectly) of being Communists, or members of the South Korean Workers’ Party―the second largest Communist Party after Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule. As a result, some 80,000 … [Read More]

Modern Korean Digraphia: Metanarration and National Identity, 1894–1972

William Strnad traces the formation and development of modern Korean digraphia during the years 1894–1972, including a description and analysis of the historical discourse related to Korean phonetic script and Chinese characters. Modern Korean digraphia was contextualized and altered amid the global emancipation and speculative metanarratives of modernity, and the national metanarratives of nationalism and … [Read More]

North Korea’s Mundane Revolution: Socialist Living and the Rise of Kim Il Sung, 1953–1965

When the crucial years after the Korean War are remembered today, histories about North Korea largely recount a grand epic of revolution centering on the ascent of Kim Il Sung to absolute power. Often overshadowed in this storyline, however, are the myriad ways the Korean population participated in party-state projects to rebuild their lives and … [Read More]

Moral Authoritarianism: Neighborhood Associations in the Three Koreas, 1931–1972

Moral Authoritarianism offers a new perspective on the three modern Korean states—the Japanese colonial state, South Korea, and North Korea—by studying neighborhood associations during the four war decades (1930s–1960s). The existing historiography perceives the three states in relation to imperialism and to the Cold War, thus emphasizing their differences by political changes. By shifting the focus … [Read More]

Transnationalism and Migration in Global Korea: History, Politics, and Sociology, 1910 to the Present

Contrary to the image of Korea as a largely self-contained country until its economy became global during the 1990s, this book shows that transnationalism has firmly been part of modern Korea’s national experience throughout its existence. The volume portrays Korea’s frequent transnational entanglements with other nations in East Asia and the West from the start … [Read More]

East Asia Observed: Selected Writings 1973-2021

This collection brings together themes in East Asian history, diplomacy, culture and politics written by J E Hoare since the early 1970s. His writings derive from his training as a historian, from his time as a Research Analyst in the British Foreign Office from 1969-2003, and from his experiences as a diplomat in the Republic … [Read More]

Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War: Comparing North and South Korean Writing

Through an in-depth analysis of wartime essays and literary works, Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War considers the similarities and differences in the way that writers from both North and South Korea perceived and experienced the conflict. In this book, Jerôme de Wit examines the social impact of major themes in the output … [Read More]

Korea at War: Conflicts That Shaped the World

An engaging history covering a century of conflict on the Korean Peninsula Korea at War recounts how two separate nations emerged on the Korean peninsula as the result of devastating conflicts involving provocative personalities and superpower intrigues. The topics covered in this fascinating book include: The brutal years of Japanese colonial rule which began with Japan’s … [Read More]

Justifying Violence on Korea’s Cold War Frontlines: The Life and Representations of Kim Tu-han

The son of a nationalist martyr, Kim Tu-han (1918-1972) rose to prominence as a mobster in 1930s Seoul. As conditions shifted, he deployed his gang first as a construction corps supporting the Japanese war effort, then as a progressive force, and, most successfully, as an anti-communist vigilante group. After narrowly escaping the death sentence for … [Read More]

Quietude: A Musical Anthropology of “Korea’s Hiroshima”

Most of us the world over do not know much about the nuclear experience, let alone the 70,000 Korean victims of the atomic bomb or their arts of life and survival. Quietude: A Musical Anthropology of “Korea’s Hiroshima” gives new insight into the overlooked and abused people who have lived and died on the margins … [Read More]

Tigers Unchained: 100 Years of Korean Anarchism

From its introduction in the early-twentieth century during the National Liberation Movement to its influence on contemporary politics and culture, anarchism has had a deep, historical significance in Korea. Tigers Unchained explores that significance through lenses that are simultaneously political, cultural, historical, and aesthetic. This translation constitutes a major contribution to multiple fields, while providing new ways … [Read More]

Historical Statistics of Korea

This book presents economic statistics of Korea in the past three centuries, focusing on the century following 1910. The data, typically time series rather than cross-sectional, are given in 22 chapters, which refer to population, wages, prices, education, health, national income and wealth, and technology, among others. Rather than simply putting together available data, the … [Read More]

Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire

In 1973, Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor,” held his largest ever “crusade.” But he was not, as one might expect, in the American heartland, but in South Korea. Why there? Race for Revival seeks not only to answer that question, but to retell the story of modern American evangelicalism through its relationship with South Korea. With the … [Read More]

A History of Protestantism in Korea

This book provides a comprehensive overview of Protestant Christianity in Korea. It outlines the development of Christianity in Korea before Protestantism, considers the introduction of Protestantism in the late nineteenth century and its widening and profound impact, and goes on to discuss the situation up to the present. Throughout the book emphasises the importance of … [Read More]

Toward Democracy: South Korean Culture and Society, 1945–1980

From the publisher’s website: This volume brings together translated essays by fourteen established and emerging South Korean scholars. Using approaches from sociology, political science, history, and literary and cultural studies, the authors offer innovative and nuanced analyses of a wide range of topics—from refugee displacement to street politics, from anti-communism and democracy to militarization—and discuss … [Read More]

A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949-1976: Revised Edition

Revised and Corrected Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia Today, the People’s Republic of China is North Korea’s only ally on the world stage, a tightly knit relationship that goes back decades. Both countries portray their partnership as one of “brotherly affection” based on shared political ideals—an alliance “as tight as lips to teeth”—even though relations … [Read More]