Online lecture: Samsung Rising

Let’s hope there are more of these to keep us interested while stuck at home. Instructions for joining this free Zoom conference can be found on the RASKB website. And while you’re there, join as a member if you haven’t already. Geoffrey Cain will be talking about his book Samsung Rising which was published last […]

New and upcoming non-fiction titles for 2018

Too many books, not enough time to read them, or space to store them. Encouragingly, in a skim of the upcoming publication lists I had no problems finding plenty of books on a wide range of interesting topics. No longer it seems is the reading public (or the publishers’ perception thereof) solely interested in that […]

BKS hosts an interview with Michael Breen

We enjoyed Mike Breen’s first book – The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies – and are currently enjoying this completely new and updated version. It’s full of fascinating detail as well as giving you the big picture. We were hoping to have written a review by now, but events […]

Ha-joon Chang on anchovies and economics

Cambridge economist Ha-joon Chang’s next book, Economics: The User’s Guide will be available on 1 May. It is the first of a batch of new publications in Penguin’s Pelican imprint, which has been dormant for thirty years. He talks about his book in a diary article in this weekend’s FT: In saying that there is […]

Will Samsung Electronics innovate again?

Peter Corbishley analyses two recent books on the subject of the company that epitomises Korea Inc. Samsung v Sony In 2010 Tony Michell published his long awaited work on Samsung Electronics.1 Sea-Jin Chang wrote Sony v Samsung2 in 2008. The opposition between the two companies seems to be stimulated by the nationalistic perception that Samsung […]

Bad Samaritans Banned from Bases

Korea's constitutional court confirms that Ha-joon Chang's "Bad Samaritans" is too dangerous to be read by the military http://bit.ly/aLpxtz # The 2nd Article of the 16th Clause of the military discipline rule stipulates that soldiers may not produce, copy, keep, transport or acquire subversive documents, books or any other means of expression, and to report […]

Korea Yearbook 2008

Korea Yearbook 2008 Eds Rüdiger Frank, James E Hoare, Patrick Köllner, Susan Pares Brill, 2009 The 2008 Korea Yearbook – Politics, Economy and Society does many of the things that a reader might expect: it contains a collection of papers which review the key developments in its chosen subject areas for the past year. At […]

Donald Kirk on the late 90s financial crisis

Donald Kirk: Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (1999) The strength of this book is that is brings together in one place the reportage of one of the key foreign journalists based in Seoul during the 1990s. With access to politicians, press releases and Korean and foreign businessmen, […]

Richard Stubbs: Rethinking Asia’s Economic Miracle

(Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) Stubbs’s thesis is simple: that one of the key drivers of Asia’s economic growth has been not free market economics, not Confucian values, not the developmental state, not Japanese or American hegemony, but war, both hot and cold. Stubbs takes seven countries – South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and […]

Book review: Ha-Joon Chang — Bad Samaritans

Random House, 2007 Read a typical book which espouses liberal free-trade globalisation and a typical reaction is “Yes, but…” Books such as “Lexus and the Olive Tree” are well written, and carry you along in the sweep of the argument. But you have a niggling sense of unease that something must be wrong with what’s […]

New and upcoming books

Tom Coyner and Jang Song-hyon have just brought out Mastering Business in Korea – A Practical Guide. The ad in Seoul Magazine reads as follows: In an engaging and easy-to-read format, two experienced business consultants explain the ins and outs of contemporary Korean business culture, etiquette, work rules, and marketing to the Korean consumer. Pick […]

Sea-Jin Chang: Financial Crisis and Transformation of Korean Business Groups

The Rise and Fall of Chaebols (Cambridge, 2003) A welcome and very detailed examination of the history and structure of the Korean business conglomerates. The strengths of this book are manifold. First and foremost is the wealth of evidence sourced from the Korea Information Service which provides some raw data for some hard conclusions. And […]