The Making of the First Korean President: Syngman Rhee’s Quest for Independence

From the publisher’s website: The only full-scale history of Syngman Rhee’s (1875–1965) early career in English was published nearly six decades ago. Now, in The Making of the First Korean President, Young Ick Lew uncovers little-known aspects of Rhee’s leadership roles prior to 1948, when he became the Republic of Korea’s first president. In this richly illustrated […]

Asia’s Unknown Uprisings: South Korean Social Movements in the 20th Century

From the publisher’s website: Using social movements as a prism to illuminate the oft-hidden history of 20th century Korea, this book provides detailed analysis of major uprisings that have patterned that country’s politics and society. From the 1894 Tonghak Uprising through the March 1, 1919, independence movement and anti-Japanese resistance, a direct line is traced […]

Youth for Nation: Culture and Protest in Cold War South Korea

From the publisher’s website: This in-depth exploration of culture, media, and protest follows South Korea’s transition from the Korean War to the start of the political struggles and socioeconomic transformations of the Park Chung Hee era. Although the post–Korean War years are commonly remembered as a time of crisis and disarray, Charles Kim contends that […]

Militarized Modernity and Gendered Citizenship in South Korea

From the publisher’s website: This pathbreaking study presents a feminist analysis of the politics of membership in the South Korean nation over the past four decades. Seungsook Moon examines the ambitious effort by which South Korea transformed itself into a modern industrial and militarized nation. She demonstrates that the pursuit of modernity in South Korea […]

Human Rights in Korea: Historical and Policy Perspectives

From the publisher’s website: These chapters by eight Korea specialists present a new approach to human rights issues in Korea. Instead of using an external and purely contemporary standard, the authors work from within Korean history, treating the successive phases of Korea’s modern century to examine the uneasy fate of human rights and some of […]

Remembering Korea 1950 A Boy Soldier’s Story

From the publisher’s website: Hyung K. Shin was sixteen years old when the North Korean army invaded South Korea in June 1950. Fleeing his home, Shin soon found himself alone in Pusan, a refugee without resources or any means of support. To save himself from destitution, he lied about his age and volunteered for service […]

Voices of the Korean Minority in Postwar Japan: Histories Against the Grain

From the publisher’s website: Shedding new light on how the histories of zainichi Koreans have been written, consumed, and discussed, this book addresses the roots of postwar debates concerning the wartime experiences of Koreans in Japan. Providing an overview of the complicated historiography, it explores the experiences of Koreans located at Ground Zero in Hiroshima and […]

The North Korean Revolution, 1945–1950

From the publisher’s website: North Korea, despite a shattered economy and a populace suffering from widespread hunger, has outlived repeated forecasts of its imminent demise. Charles K. Armstrong contends that a major source of North Korea’s strength and resiliency, as well as of its flaws and shortcomings, lies in the poorly understood origins of its […]

Education Fever: Society, Politics, and the Pursuit of Schooling in South Korea

From the publisher’s website: In the half century after 1945, South Korea went from an impoverished, largely rural nation ruled by a succession of authoritarian regimes to a prosperous, democratic industrial society. No less impressive was the country’s transformation from a nation where a majority of the population had no formal education to one with […]

The Ilse: First-Generation Korean Immigrants in Hawaii, 1903-1973

From the publisher’s website: On January 13, 1903, the first Korean immigrants arrived in Hawai’i. Numbering a little more than a hundred individuals, this group represented the initial wave of organized Korean immigration to Hawai’i. Over the next two and a half years, nearly 7,500 Koreans would make the long journey eastward across the Pacific. […]

Crisis in North Korea: The Failure of De-Stalinization, 1956

From the publisher’s website: North Korea remains the most mysterious of all Communist countries. The acute shortage of available sources has made it a difficult subject of scholarship. Through his access to Soviet archival material made available only a decade ago, contemporary North Korean press accounts, and personal interviews, Andrei Lankov presents for the first […]

The Massacres at Mt. Halla: Sixty Years of Truth Seeking in South Korea

From the publisher’s website: In The Massacres at Mt. Halla, Hun Joon Kim presents a compelling story of state violence, human rights advocacy, and transitional justice in South Korea since 1947. The “Jeju 4.3 events” were a series of armed uprisings and counterinsurgency actions that occurred between 1947 and 1954 in the rugged landscape around Mt. […]

Soldiers on the Cultural Front: Developments in the Early History of North Korean Literature and Literary Policy

From the publisher’s website: An understanding of contemporary North Korea’s literature is virtually impossible without an investigation of its formative period, 1945–1960, which saw a gradual transformation from the initial “Soviet era” to a Korean version of “national Stalinism.” This turbulent epoch established a long-lasting framework for North Korean literature and set up an elaborate […]

Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945–1950

From the publisher’s website: During the founding of North Korea, competing visions of an ideal modern state proliferated. Independence and democracy were touted by all, but plans for the future of North Korea differed in their ideas about how everyday life should be organized. Daily life came under scrutiny as the primary arena for social […]

Korean Nationalism Betrayed

From the publisher’s website: Written by Joong-Seok Seo, an eminent Korean historian and a thinker of rare originality, this book examines the tumultuous history of modern Korea from the perspective of nationalism. Based on the author’s extensive research and wide-ranging experience, the book goes to the heart of critical questioning about the political uses and […]

Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism

From the publisher’s website: An overview of Korean Buddhism and its major figures in the modern period. The first book in English devoted exclusively to modern Korean Buddhism, this work provides a comprehensive exploration for scholars, students, and serious readers. Makers of Modern Korean Buddhism focuses on three key areas: Buddhist reform, Zen revival, and the interrelationship […]