History and Culture of Korea

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Facts and History


Right now there aren't many articles or links, as it's in the awkward stage where there are too many of individual links on the main index, and too few to make a proper subdirectory. However, I hope you will find this useful nonetheless as it continues to slowly grow. The articles I've written myself, and are more opinion then hard fact (as I'm no Asian American Studies major), but I've tried to keep them grounded in researchable source material. The links are to other sites that are more exculsively dedicated to Korean and Korean American history and culture. As usual, feel free to submit your own articles or links for inclusion in the site.
Korean History Articles
A brief summary of Korean History
Korean/Korean American Culture Articles
Quick facts and statistics about Korea
Quick statistics on Korean Americans
Korean History Links
Hendrick Hamel, "Marco Polo" of Korea
Korean Studies Program @ UC Berkeley
Korean Culture Links
Introduction to the Korean Alphabet
Other Offline Resources
Breen, Michael. The Koreans. 1998, St. Martin's Press, USA. ISBN: 0-312-24211-5
A very enjoyable and light read, with a lot of first person narration and personal examples. The main thrust of the book is on the issue of unification between the North and South. However, the book seems to lose focus in the middle, and instead explores a variety of social and cultural issues and observations, which turn out to be much more thoroughly enjoyable.
Oberdorfer, Don. The Two Koreas. 1997, Addison-Wesley, USA. ISBN: 0-201-40927-5
Your traditional history book, focusing on the modern history of North and South Korea. Full of facts, figures, and details of political leaders, a mostly dry read that leaves the analysis to the reader.
Unger, Gerardo R.; Steer, Richard M.; Park, Seung-Ho. Korean Enterprise. 1997, Harvard Business School Press, USA. ISBN: 0-87584-630-0
The triple authorship may be the source of the often inefficient repetativeness found in the book. Or that may just be the way economic anaylsis is done. Either way, this is not a casual read. Lost of boosterism present, as well as facts and figures. Suffers a bit from being printed just before the Asian Financial Crisis and the IMF Bailout.
Hurh, Won Moo. The Korean Americans. 1998, Greenwood Press, USA. ISBN: 0-313-29741-x
A quick and fact filled survey of Korean Americans, a very academic sociology book. Seems a bit brief, with not much depth, but that could be due to a lack of source data. Conclusions are a bit repetative with excessive use of big and fancy words. Also includes a Who's Who of Korean Americans.
Kim, Elain H.; Yu, Eui-Young. East to America. 1996, The New Press, USA. ISBN: 1-56584-297-9
A collection of oral histories, each roughly 3-5 pages in length. Very compelling read, with a wide variety of stories. One must note, however, that Korean stories are not translated verbatum. Additionaly, this book is composed of 38 selected stories out of about 100.
Cumings, Bruce. Korea's Place in the Sun. 1997, W.W. Nortan & Co., USA. ISBN: 0-393-04011-9
A comprehensive modern history (with a nice brief ancient history section) of Korea. Focused more on events and forces then on people, although it includes some nice stories of major figures.
Clifford, Mark L. Troubled Tiger, Revised Edition. 1998, East Gate Books, USA. ISBN: 0-7656-0140-0
An economic history book. Reads just like a history book, only with an emphasis on how events and people affected economic conditions and policy. Not a bad read.
Park, Kyeyoung. The Korean American Dream. 1997, Cornell University Press, USA. ISBN: 0-8014-3343-6
A study of the Korean immigrant experience, mostly focusing on small businesses. Uses a lot of examples from the Queens, NY area, which are quite interesting, except for the fact that 50% of all Korean Americans live in California, and most in the LA area.
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