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Best Books about South Korea

Updated on July 4, 2013

Book Guides to increase your knowledge and understanding about South Korean Culture

These list of books are perfect for anyone interested to learn more about South Korean culture, its history, political and economical issues. Through this it will increase your knowledge and appreciate the various aspects of Korean society as it changes to adapt in our modern times.

Korean culture is known with its own system of writing, history and religion that are uniquely their own. I assure you this book recommendations will be really helpful for you!

Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean - by Henry J. Amen IV, Kyubyong Park

have you ever considered learning Korean, but been put off by the unusual look of the characters? Don't let yourself be scared away! Korean has been called "the most logical language there is," and with this friendly and thorough introduction you will soon see why.

As the more than 1 million Americans who speak Korean can attest, Korean is here to stay, and generations of young (and older) adults are determined to learn it. This book is for people who want a grasp of how to speak, write and understand Korean-and who want to enjoy things while they're at it! Soon you'll be able to say with pride, "I know Korean!"

To Kill a Tiger: A Memoir of Korea - by Jid Lee

to Kill a Tiger is an unforgettable memoir weaving the author's childhood with five generations of Korean history. It a searing portrait of a woman and a society in the midst of violent change. Drawing on Korean legend and myth, as well as an Asian woman's unique perspective on the United States, Lee weaves her compelling personal narrative with a collective and accessible history of modern Korea, from Japanese colonialism to war-era comfort women, from the genocide of the Korean War to the government persecution and silence of Cold War-era programs. The ritual of storytelling, which she shares with the women of her family, serves as a window into a five-generation family saga, and it is through storytelling that Lee comes to appreciate the sacrifices of her ancestors and her own now American place in her family and society.

The History of Korea (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations) - by Chun-gil Kim

the Koreas are two of the few countries in the East Asian world to successfully maintain political and cultural independence from China. Originated by the Han-Ye-Maek people who had migrated from North China to Manchuria and the Korean peninsula since 2000 BCE, three Korean dynasties-Great Silla, Koryo, and Choson-kept peace and prosperity in the country since the 7th century, nurturing a civilization based on Buddhism, Confucianism and the East Asian world-system. Korea, despite experiencing Japanese dominion and the nation's division, now looks forward to enjoying its prosperity as a member of the global community and to seeing a unified Korea. This volume provides a comprehensive review of Korea's history, from its roots in Neolithic civilization, and the tradition and evolution of nation-building in the traditional East Asian world system, through Korea's global setting in modern times.

Also included are a biographical section highlighting famous figures in Korean history, a timeline of important historical events, a glossary of Korean terms, and a bibliographical essay with suggestions for further reading.

K Is for Korea (World Alphabets) - by Hyechong Cheung

in this photographic alphabet, the author introduces young readers to some of the customs, religion and culture, both ancient and modern, that make up this high-profile country. Focusing on both city and country life - from Arirang to Lacquerware to Taekwondo - this is a celebration of Korea in all its colourful diversity.

Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History, Updated Edition - by Bruce Cumings

this updated edition brings Bruce Cumings's leading history of the modern era into the present. The small country, overshadowed in the imperial era, crammed against great powers during the Cold War, and divided and decimated by the Korean War, has recently seen the first real hints of reunification. But positive movements forward are tempered by frustrating steps backward. In the late 1990s South Korea survived its most severe economic crisis since the Korean War, forcing a successful restructuring of its political economy. Suffering through floods, droughts, and a famine that cost the lives of millions of people, North Korea has been labeled part of an "axis of evil" by the George W. Bush administration and has renewed its nuclear threats. On both sides Korea seems poised to continue its fractured existence on into the new century, with potential ramifications for the rest of the world.

Seoul Selection Guides: SEOUL - by Robert Koehler

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. This guide will get you started.

Etiquette Guide to Korea: Know the Rules that Make the Difference! - by Boye Lafayette De Mente

with Etiquette Guide to Korea, you'll never need to worry about an embarrassing faux pas-this authoritative guide covers everything the courteous traveler needs to know, including the importance of names and how to use them, shaking hands versus bowing, table manners for celebrations and everyday meals, and how to negotiate in Korea.

South Korea (New True Books: Geography) - by Tara Walters

which is the only country to have competed in every World Cup tournament? Where would you go to check out the Mongolian Cow Yogurt Super Girl Contest? Put the countries of the world at readers' fingertips with these books for young globe-trotters.

All About Korea: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More - by Ann Martin Bowler

all About Korea is a rich trove of activities and information about Korea, compiled by author Ann Martin Bowler. In fifteen chapters, appealingly illustrated by Soosoonam Barg, Bowler presents history, games, folktales, some basic Korean language, songs, recipes, and information about holidays, arts and crafts, architecture, and values. In addition to use in the classroom, the many Korean-American parents and adoptive parents of Korean-born children will be gratified and assisted by Bowler and BargÃs book in instilling in their bicultural children a sense of pride and respect for the Korean people and their country."-PaperTigers.org

The New Korea: An Inside Look at South Korea's Economic Rise - by Myung Oak Kim, Sam Jaffe

in 1953, South Korea was rated by the U.N. as the poorest country in the world. Five decades later, it is the fifteenth largest economy. Now, South Korea's decisions on how to manage its society and its role as a modern democracy while also establishing its policy regarding reunification with North Korea will determine where the country will go in the next fifty years. "The New Korea" examines the political, economic, industrial, and societal aspects of Korea today. Will it continue to enjoy an economic boom through new industries while competing against low-wage countries like China and India? Will it return to its role as a stomping ground for other powers? And what should Westerners pay attention to in terms of investment and business opportunities? As South Korea enters the most critical phase of its journey, it is crucial that we understand the factors involving its decisions and evolution. "The New Korea" is a fascinating account of what is and may become the state of this important region.

Korean Children's Favorite Stories - by Kim So-Un, Jeong Kyoung-Sim

a captivating collection of Korean folktales told the way they have been for generations. Written with wit and pathos understandable at any age, they unveil the inevitable foibles of people everywhere and expose the human-like qualities of animals and the animal-like qualities in humans.

Korea Style - by Marcia Iwatate, Kim Unsoo, Clark E. Llewellyn, Lee Jongkeun

korea Style reveals the intrinsic elements of Korean design; simplicity, moderation, constraint, and a deep respect for all things natural. Despite the filtering of Japanese and Western design ideas into Korea over the millennia, the peninsula has maintained its own identity and is gaining recognition for its own particular "style". Spatial, spiritual and material qualities are reflected in the simple beauty of its architectural design, while classic objects that immediately distinguish themselves as being uniquely Korean are used with distinctive flair in interior decoration.

A History of Korea - by Kyung Hwang

a concise, lively history of Korea, which explores the richness of Korean civilization from the ancient era through to the jarring transformation that resulted in two distinctive trajectories through the modern world. Chapters flow both chronologically and thematically, covering themes such as identity, gender and family.

The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea - by Byung Kook Kim & Ezra F. Vogel

In 1959 South Korea was mired in poverty. By 1979 it had a powerful industrial economy and a vibrant civil society in the making, which would lead to a democratic breakthrough eight years later. The transformation took place during the years of Park Chung Hee's presidency. Park seized power in a coup in 1961 and ruled as a virtual dictator until his assassination in October 1979. He is credited with modernizing South Korea, but at a huge political and social cost.

Food of Korea (Food of the World Cookbooks) - by David Clive Price, Masano Kawana

it's a stand-out Korean cookbook because the recipes actually produce dishes that approximate the taste of what I'd get at a good Korean restaurant here in the bay area or a dish turned out by a really good Korean home cook. I've followed these recipes very closely and havn't taken chances as far as doing my own substitutions and each dish came out wonderfully! I've not diverged since I don't know what I'm doing in the kitchen and can't risk bungling up a dish.

Annyeong, Haseyo! Gamsahamnida.. - What can you say about learning all these Korean facts and culture? Please share to us. Thanks a lot!

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