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A Concise History of Korea: From the…

A Concise History of Korea: From the Neolithic Period through the…

by Michael J. Seth

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If you will read only one book about Korean history, this is the one. Seth organizes and edits Korea's rich and vast history into a digestible and coherent whole, covering its legendary origins and through the nineteenth century. Seth presents the history of influence by Korea's geographic neighbors, China and Japan, as something uniquely transformed by the peninsula rather than adopted wholesale or by force. Especially useful for western readers is seeing Korean history in the context of East Asian history, the development of Confucian mores in Korea, and how its geopolitical position gave the nation unnaccountable strength as well as led to it ultimate demise with the Japanese Occupation of 1910-1945. The inclusion of translated historical documents, glossary and extensive notes only add to the precision and usefulness of this book. Unlike other books about Korean history written in English, this volume presents an unbiased, respectful, and modern view of the history of a culture and people. ( )
  sungene | Oct 24, 2007 |
. . . many other histories of Korea cover the early period, and I have tried to read many of them—but most are poorly written and just plain boring. Seth has organized a coherent, highly analytical work that is a perfect tool for both the student and intelligent reader. In short, this book belongs in every academic library. What Bruce Cumings has done for modern Korean history, Michael Seth has done for traditional Korea. We should be thankful for this book and the contributions it makes to the field.
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"This engaging text provides a concise history of Korea from the beginning of human settlement in the region through the late nineteenth century. Its thorough, chronological narrative equally emphasizes social, cultural, and political history. Students will be especially drawn to descriptions of everyday life for both elite and nonelite members of society during various historical periods. A Concise History of Korea emphasizes how Korean history can be understood as part of an interactive sphere that includes three basic areas: China, Japan, and the Manchurian/Central Asian region."--Jacket.… (more)

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