North Korea Undercover

From the publisher’s website: North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. It is Orwell’s 1984 made reality. The regime controls the flow of information to its citizens, pouring relentless propaganda through omnipresent loud speakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready […]

An Affair with Korea: Memories of South Korea in the 1960s

From the publisher’s website: In 1966 Vincent S. R. Brandt lived in Sokp’o, a poor and isolated South Korean fishing village on the coast of the Yellow Sea, carrying out social anthropological research. At that time, the only way to reach Sokp’o, other than by boat, was a two hour walk along foot paths. This […]

Korea (Seoul Selection Guides)

Publisher description: With 5,000 years of history and culture packed into one very tight package, Korea is a fascinating travel destination that both compares and contrasts favourably with its larger neighbours. From the pulsating streets of Seoul to the peaceful temples and gardens of the Korean countryside, Korea is a study in contrasts—one foot in […]

Only Beautiful, Please: A British Diplomat in North Korea

From the publisher’s website: Coverage of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) all too often focuses solely on nuclear proliferation, military parades, and the personality cult around its leaders. As the British ambassador to North Korea, John Everard had the rare experience of living there from 2006, when the DPRK conducted its first nuclear […]

Seoul (Seoul Selection Guides)

Publisher description: Korea’s capital for the last 600 years, Seoul is an energetic, pulsating city where the ancient and modern coexist in dramatic contrast. With its grand royal palaces, quaint old alleyways, ancient temples, colorful markets, neon shopping districts, and verdant mountains, you’ll never run out of things to see and do. The most comprehensive […]

Royal Ancestors and Ancient Remedies: a brief journey through Korea’s heritage

Publisher description: A Korea enthusiast commits himself to a week in Korea to attend the nation’s most solemn Confucian ceremony in honour of the Royal Ancestors, and to do some high-minded interviews with cultural figures to give him material for his London-based Korean culture website. Everyone tells him he will be bored out of his […]

A Slow Walk through Jeong-dong

Publisher description: When most people travel, they try to cover too much and rush around cities and countries, ticking off boxes: Seen that, done that.  Instead, you can have a rewarding time in a single place, not rushing around.  Slow Walk through Jeong-dong shows you how to take things slow and focus your mind on the details. In this essay, […]

To the Diamond Mountains: A Hundred-Year Journey through China and Korea

From the publisher’s website: This compelling and engaging book takes readers on a unique journey through China and North and South Korea. Tessa Morris-Suzuki travels from Harbin in the north to Busan in the south, and on to the mysterious Diamond Mountains, which lie at the heart of the Korean Peninsula’s crisis. As she follows […]

The Northern Region of Korea: History, Identity, and Culture

From the publisher’s website: The residents of the three northern provinces of Korea have long had cultural and linguistic characteristics that have marked them as distinct from their brethren in the central area near the capital and in the southern provinces. The making and legitimating of centralized Korean nation-states over the centuries, however, have marginalized […]

Baekdu-Daegan Trail: Hiking Korea’s Mountain Spine

Publisher description: The Baekdu-daegan chain of mountains forms the backbone of the Korean Peninsula. It has always occupied a very special place in the hearts of Koreans. More than just a series of rocky ranges, it is the source of the life and dynamic energy of the Korean people and shelters many of their cultural […]

Korea: As Seen by Magnum Photographers

From the publisher’s website: More than 230 full-color images by some of the world’s most-renowned photographers. South Korea, with its craggy hillsides, gnarled trees, and ancient temples, is steeped in tradition yet, at the same time, is thoroughly modern—the tenth-ranking industrial power in the world. Its capital city, Seoul, is one of the most populous […]

Meeting Mr Kim: Or How I Went to Korea and Learned to Love Kimchi

Publisher description: The world knows more about secret North Korea than the free society of the South. As a peace summit heralded a new era for a country divided for 50 years, Jennifer Barclay searched for the spirit of South Korea, discovering a land full of passion, tradition and spirituality, good humor, and great food. […]

Kyongju Things: Assembling Place

From the publisher’s website: A historical ethnography of place amidst objects in the contemporary city of Kyongju, South Korea Kyongju is South Korea’s preeminent “culture city,” an urban site rich with archaeological wonders that residents compare to those of Nara, Xian, and Rome. By examining these ancient objects in relation to the controversies that engulfed […]

Life on the Edge of the DMZ

Publisher’s description: The author’s celebrated quest to capture today’s built and natural environment and way of life along the DMZ, separating the two Koreas, is both a stunning literary and photographic achievement. Supported by 150 colour photographs, the book by one of Korea’s renowned photographers takes the reader from Chulwon in the east to Kosung […]

Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography

From the publisher’s website: Arranged around a set of provocative themes, the essays in this volume engage in the discussion from various critical perspectives on Korean geography. Part One, “Geographies of the (Colonial) City,” focuses on Seoul during the Japanese colonial occupation from 1910–1945 and the lasting impact of that period on the construction of […]

Inside the Hermit Kingdom: The 1884 Korea Travel Journal of George Clayton Foulk

From the publisher’s website: Navy ensign George Foulk made a 900-mile journey through southern Korea during which he kept a detailed record of everything he observed and experienced. This travel diary, part of the George Clayton Foulk collection in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, has been almost entirely overlooked by scholars […]