Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea

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Reaktion Books, Aug 15, 2007 - History - 320 pages
2 Reviews
South Korea – a democratic high-tech Asian Tiger and flamboyant host of the 2002 World Cup; North Korea – a secretive dictatorship on Bush’s notorious ‘axis of evil’, with a controversial nuclear program and a poverty-stricken population. These two Koreas seem worlds apart, separated along the 38th parallel by the last active ‘cold war’ frontier. But North and South Korea share a common history and culture of which both are deeply proud; the poignant scenes of reunited families when the borders were opened in 2000 show that, even though frustrated, the links between the two populations remain strong. Keith Pratt tells the story of this common heritage from the ancient states of Old Choson and Wiman Choson to the present relics of Cold War politics. He describes the physical and cultural landscape in which this history unfolds, dealing with religious identities and social aspects like food and drink, as well as more controversial issues such as punishment and torture, and the ‘comfort women’ of the Japanese occupation. In a series of short picture essays he introduces particular aspects of Korea’s past, including the world’s oldest observatory and the country’s famous turtle boats. Everlasting Flower: A History of Koreareveals a country which, although sandwiched between the more familiar worlds of China and Japan, has a distinct and rich cultural identity of its own. With the DPRK’s precarious relationship with the outside world brought to increasingly frequent crises in the aftermath of 9/11, the Korean peninsular looks certain to remain a geopolitical hotspot. The importance of understanding this part of the world has never been greater.

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Review: Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea

User Review  - Pancha - Goodreads

This book is very dry, and doesn't give a good sense of chronology, which is what I was looking for. Read full review

Review: Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea

User Review  - Matt Kuhns - Goodreads

I have also been looking for a good general history of Korea for some years. Everlasting Flower was, basically… okay. It was a little dry, and while I commend Pratt's decision to devote space to ... Read full review


Cultural Patterns in Flux
The Building of Confidence
The Struggle for Independence
The Search for
Tradition at Work
The Colonial Era
Return to Disunity
Tradition and Change
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About the author (2007)

\Keith Pratt is professor emeritus in the Department of East Asian Studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books and articles on Korea, including Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary.

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