By Daniel Tudor
South Korea's outstanding upward thrust from the ashes: the interior tale of an monetary, political, and cultural phenomenon
Long overshadowed through Japan and China, South Korea is a small kingdom that occurs to be one of many nice nationwide luck tales of the postwar interval. From a failed nation with out democratic culture, ruined and partitioned via warfare, and sapped via a half-century of colonial rule, South Korea reworked itself in precisely fifty years into an financial powerhouse and a democracy that serves as a version for different international locations. with out ordinary assets and a convention of authoritarian rule, Korea controlled to complete a moment Asian miracle.
Daniel Tudor is a journalist who has lived in and written approximately Korea for nearly a decade. In Korea: The most unlikely Country, Tudor examines Korea's cultural foundations; the Korean personality; the general public sphere in politics, enterprise, and the office in addition to the kinfolk, relationship, and marriage. In doing so, he touches on themes as assorted as shamanism, clan-ism, the hindrance posed by means of North Korea, the myths approximately doing company in Korea, the Koreans' well known hard-partying ethos, and why the infatuation with studying English is now inflicting large social difficulties.
South Korea has gone through miracles right away: fiscal improvement and entire democratization. The query now's, will it develop into as a few see Japan, a wealthy but getting older society, with out power and momentum? Or will the dynamism of Korean society and its willingness to change—as good because the chance it has now to welcome outsiders into its fold—enable it to event a 3rd miracle that may propel it into the ranks of the world's major international locations when it comes to human tradition, democracy, and wealth?
More than simply one journalist's account, Korea: The most unlikely Country additionally attracts on interviews with a few of the those that made South Korea what it really is this present day. those include:
- Choi Min-sik, the big name of "Old Boy".
- Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul.
- Soyeon Yi, Korea's first astronaut Hong Myung-bo, mythical captain of Korea's 2002 FIFA global Cup team.
- Shin Joong-hyun, the 'Godfather of Korean Rock'.
- Ko Un, poet.
- Hong Seok-cheon, restaurateur, and the 1st Korean megastar to 'come out'.
And many extra, together with a former consultant to President Park Chung-hee; a Shaman priestess ('mudang'); the boss of Korea's greatest matchmaking business enterprise; a 'room salon' hostess; an architect; in addition to cooks, musicians, teachers, marketers, homemakers, and chaebol conglomerate staff.