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Korea : the impossible country / Daniel Tudor.

By: Tudor, Daniel, 1982-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: North Clarendon, Vermont : Tuttle Publishing, 2012Copyright date: ©2012Edition: 1st edition.Description: 320 pages : colour illustrations ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780804842525; 0804842523.Subject(s): Korea (South) -- CivilizationDDC classification: 951.9 Summary: "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 huge 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 rich 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 in terms of human culture, democracy, and wealth?" -- Publisher's description.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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.

Includes index.

"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 huge 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 rich 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 in terms of human culture, democracy, and wealth?" -- Publisher's description.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments, Caveats, and a Note on Names (p. 7)
  • Introduction (p. 9)
  • A Brief History of Korea (p. 12)
  • Part I Foundations
  • Chapter 1 Shamanism and the Spirit World (p. 24)
  • Chapter 2 Buddhism (p. 34)
  • Chapter 3 Confucianism (p. 42)
  • Chapter 4 Christianity (p. 54)
  • Chapter 5 Capitalism with a Korean Face (p. 66)
  • Chapter 6 Democracy: Beyond Asian Values (p. 78)
  • Part II Cultural Codes
  • Chapter 7 Jeong-The "Invisible Hug" (p. 92)
  • Chapter 8 Competition (p. 101)
  • Chapter 9 Chemyon, or Face (p. 112)
  • Chapter 10 Han and Heung (p. 120)
  • Chapter 11 From Clan to Nuclear Family (p. 128)
  • Chapter 12 Neophilia (p. 139)
  • Part III Hyun-Shil: Cold Reality
  • Chapter 13 North Korea: Friend, Foe, or Foreigner? (p. 148)
  • Chapter 14 Politics and the Media (p. 158)
  • Chapter 15 Onward, Industrial Soldiers (p. 170)
  • Chapter 16 "More Important than the Business Itself" (p. 182)
  • Chapter 17 Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Perfect (p. 192)
  • Chapter 18 English Mania (p. 202)
  • Part IV In The Hours Not Spent Working
  • Chapter 19 Living Space: From Hanok to Apartment Houses and Back Again (p. 212)
  • Chapter 20 Four Seasons at the Dinner Table (p. 220)
  • Chapter 21 Cinema: Boom, Bust, and Brilliance (p. 229)
  • Chapter 22 More Than K-Pop (p. 240)
  • Chapter 23 Work All Day, Stay Out All Night (p. 250)
  • Part V More of "Us," Less of "Them"
  • Chapter 24 Defensive Nationalism (p. 260)
  • Chapter 25 Multicultural Korea? (p. 271)
  • Chapter 26 "Its Our Turn" (p. 279)
  • Chapter 27 "We Are Not Aliens, From Another Cosmos" (p. 291)
  • Chapter 28 A Woman's Place Is in the Office (p. 298)
  • Epilogue: Where Is the Champagne? (p. 309)
  • Index (p. 313)