South Korea's amazing rise from the ashes: the inside story of an economic, political, and cultural phenomenon Long overshadowed by Japan and China, South Korea is a small country that happens to be one of the great national success stories of the postwar period.
From a failed state with no democratic tradition, ruined and partitioned by war, and sapped by a half-century of colonial rule, South Korea transformed itself in just fifty years into an economic powerhouse and a democracy that serves as a model for other countries.
With no natural resources and a tradition of authoritarian rule, Korea managed to accomplish a second Asian miracle.
Daniel Tudor is a journalist who has lived in and written about Korea for almost a decade.
In Korea: The Impossible Country, Tudor examines Korea's cultural foundations; the Korean character; the public sphere in politics, business, and the workplace as well as the family, dating, and marriage.
In doing so, he touches on topics as diverse as shamanism, clan-ism, the dilemma posed by North Korea, the myths about doing business in Korea, the Koreans' renowned hard-partying ethos, and why the infatuation with learning English is now causing massive social problems.
South Korea has undergone two miracles at once: economic development and complete democratization.
The question now is, will it become as some see Japan, a prosperous yet aging society, devoid of energy and momentum? Or will the dynamism of Korean society and its willingness to change--as well as the opportunity it has now to welcome outsiders into its fold--enable it to experience a third miracle that will propel it into the ranks of the world's leading nations regarding human culture, democracy, and wealth?
More than just one journalist's account, Korea: The Impossible Country also draws on interviews with many of the people who made South Korea what it is today.
These include: Choi Min-sik, the star of "Old Boy." Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul. Soyeon Yi, Korea's first astronaut Hong Myung-bo, legendary captain of Korea's 2002 FIFA World Cup team. Shin Joong-hyun, the 'Godfather of Korean Rock.' Ko Un, poet. Hong Seok-cheon, restaurateur, and the first Korean celebrity to 'come out.'And many more, including a former advisor to President Park Chung-hee; a Shaman priestess ('mudang'); the boss of Korea's largest matchmaking agency; a 'room salon' hostess; an architect; as well as chefs, musicians, academics, entrepreneurs, homemakers, and chaebol conglomerate employees.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 288 pages, 16-Page Colour Insert
- Publisher: Periplus Editions
- Publication Date: 12/11/2012
- Category: Asian history
- ISBN: 9780804842525
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