London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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

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]

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]

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]

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]

The Koreas: The Birth of Two Nations Divided

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 … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

Ghost Flames: Life and Death in a Hidden War, Korea 1950-1953

From the publisher’s website: A powerful, character-driven narrative of the Korean War from the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who helped uncover some of its longest-held and darkest secrets. The war that broke out in Korea on a Sunday morning seventy years ago has come to be recognized as a critical turning point in modern history — … [Read More]

After the Korean War: An Intimate History

Following his prizewinning studies of the Vietnam War, renowned anthropologist Heonik Kwon presents this ground-breaking study of the Korean War’s enduring legacies seen through the realm of intimate human experience. Kwon boldly reclaims kinship as a vital category in historical and political enquiry and probes the grey zone between the modern and the traditional (and … [Read More]

Cold War Cosmopolitanism: Period Style in 1950s Korean Cinema

From the publisher’s website: South Korea in the 1950s was home to a burgeoning film culture, one of the many “Golden Age cinemas” that flourished in Asia during the postwar years. Cold War Cosmopolitanism offers a transnational cultural history of South Korean film style in this period, focusing on the works of Han Hyung-mo, director … [Read More]

Fearing the Worst: How Korea Transformed the Cold War

After World War II, the escalating tensions of the Cold War shaped the international system. Fearing the Worst explains how the Korean War fundamentally changed postwar competition between the United States and the Soviet Union into a militarized confrontation that would last decades. Samuel F. Wells Jr. examines how military and political events interacted to escalate the … [Read More]

Marilyn and Me

Historical fiction, based on true events, about two women who seem the most unlikely to ever meet: Alice, a Korean war survivor and translator for the American forces in Seoul, and Marilyn Monroe, who is visiting Korea on a four-day USO tour. February 1954. Although the Korean War armistice was signed a year ago, most citizens of … [Read More]

Korean Memories and Psycho-Historical Fragmentation

From the publisher’s website: This pioneering book is the first English volume on Korean memories. In it, Mikyoung Kim introduces ‘psycho-historical fragmentation’, a concept that explains South Korea’s mnemonic rupture as a result of living under intense temporal, psychological and physical pressure. As Korean society has undergone transformation at unusual speed and intensity, so has … [Read More]