Koreas

Overview

It's not hard to understand why Koreans describe their lives as han, which means "living with a great and sustained sorrow." In the 20th century alone, they endured a 35 year Japanese military occupation, one of the most brutal civil wars in history, and decades of occupation by rival superpowers.

Yet the story of this hauntingly beautiful, mountainous land is not ultimately one of war and devastation. The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook tells the story of a warm and generous ...

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Overview

It's not hard to understand why Koreans describe their lives as han, which means "living with a great and sustained sorrow." In the 20th century alone, they endured a 35 year Japanese military occupation, one of the most brutal civil wars in history, and decades of occupation by rival superpowers.

Yet the story of this hauntingly beautiful, mountainous land is not ultimately one of war and devastation. The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook tells the story of a warm and generous people who have retained their distinctive language and culture despite repeated foreign occupations, achieved a literacy rate of almost 100 percent, outscored nearly every other nation in science and math, and reshaped their devastated post-war economy into one of the four tigers of Asian economic growth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Recommended for the general public and high school and lower-division undergraduate students."

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Choice

" … well-researched and well-written…can also serve as a quick refernce tool for public and school libraries and for general area studies collections in academic and special libraries."

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American Reference Books Annual

" … devoted to the details of Korea's political history … The book closes with a useful list of relevant organizations and an excellent annotated bibliography of recommended works about Korea."

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VOYA

VOYA
This well-done book is very similar to Culture and Customs of Korea (Greenwood, 2000/VOYA June 2001), albeit aimed at a slightly more sophisticated audience and with more space devoted to the details of Korea's political history. Connor, a member of the curriculum committee for the National Council for Social Studies, received a Korea Society Fellowship to aid in writing this book. She defines her primary goal as "to meet the need for a general introduction to Korea with a focus on the economic, political, social, and cultural developments since the Korean War." Her secondary aim is to provide reference material for those traveling to Korea. In general, the author succeeds admirably in fulfilling these goals. The first part contains detailed and clear chapters on the geography and history of Korea, economic and political developments since 1945, contemporary Korean culture, and the nation's social problems. Connor hits on a number of controversial issues, and the writing is particularly good on the long and thorny relationship between North and South Korea. Oddly, however, she devotes no more than a line or two to the Unification Church and only one sentence to the hot topic of Korean adoption. The second part consists of reference materials, including a short chronology of Korean history; entries on significant people, places, and events; and information on the Korean language, traditional foods, and etiquette The book closes with a useful list of relevant organizations and an excellent annotated bibliography of recommended works about Korea. (Global Studies: Asia). Photos. Maps. Charts. Biblio. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P S A/YA (Better than most, marredonly by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2002, ABC-CLIO, 305p,
— Michael Levy
Library Journal
With these two inaugural titles—updated and enlarged from their 2002 incarnations in the "Global Studies Handbook" series—ABC-CLIO is launching a brand new series titled "Asia in Focus." The title on China is slated to join them shortly. Ellington (Univ. of Tennessee, Chattanooga) and Connor (Korea Acad. for Educators) authored the earlier titles in the series as well. Connor wrote the bulk of the newer The Koreas, and there are five subchapters by contributors. Prefaces in these books stress the need for global awareness in general and an increased understanding of Asian countries in particular. To that end, each title covers the awareness aspect with sections on geography, history, government and politics, economy, society, culture, and contemporary issues. A historical approach serves The Koreas particularly well, emphasizing the relative recency of the political division between north and south. Supplemental material makes up more than a quarter of each book, including a glossary, a compilation of facts and figures, a description of holidays, a listing of organizations, an annotated bibliography of recommended works, a thematic index, and a general index. BOTTOM LINE Financially strapped libraries holding the earlier "Global Studies Handbook" titles may skip these. Otherwise, they are recommended to public, school, and academic libraries as highly readable, information-rich resources on regions and peoples playing increasingly large roles in our economic future. Librarians may choose to place them in circulation where they would be more appreciated.—Teresa R. Faust, Vermont Dept. of Libs., Berlin
Booknews
In a general introduction to Korea specifically accessible to young readers, Connor (history, Westridge School, Pasadena, California) focuses on the economic, political, social, and cultural developments since the Korean War. A section also covers geography and history. Among the reference materials are a chronological table; a brief dictionary of people, places, and events; an outline of language, food, and etiquette; a list of organizations; and an annotated bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576072776
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/3/2002
  • Series: Global Studies - Asia Series
  • Pages: 326
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword
Preface
Map
Pt. 1 Narrative Section 1
1 Geography and History 3
2 Economic Development since 1945 65
3 Political Development since 1945 109
4 Contemporary Culture and Social Problems 163
Pt. 2 Reference Materials 209
Chronological Table 211
Significant People, Places, and Events 215
Korean Language, Food, and Etiquette 241
Organizations 257
Annotated Bibliography of Recommended Works on Korea 275
Index 287
About the Author 307
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