A Concise History of Modern Korea: From the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2010 - History - 295 pages
This comprehensive and balanced history of modern Korea explores the social, economic, and political issues it has faced since being catapulted into the wider world at the end of the nineteenth century. Placing this formerly insular society in a global context, Michael J. Seth describes how this ancient, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society first fell victim to Japanese imperialist expansionism, and then was arbitrarily divided in half after World War II. Seth traces the postwar paths of the two Koreas with different political and social systems and different geopolitical orientations as they evolved into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising start, became one of the few postcolonial developing states to enter the ranks of the first world, with a globally competitive economy, a democratic political system, and a cosmopolitan and dynamic culture. By contrast, North Korea became one of the world's most totalitarian and isolated societies, a nuclear power with an impoverished and famine-stricken population. Considering the radically different and historically unprecedented trajectories of the two Koreas, Seth assesses the insights they offer for understanding not only modern Korea but the broader perspective of world history."
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Korea 18761910
9
Colonial Korea 19101945
43
Division and War 19451953
83
North Korea 19531993
117
South Korea from Poverty to Prosperity 19531997
149
South KoreaCreating a Democratic Society 19531997
181
North Korea in Recent Years
213
South Korea in Recent Years
239
Conclusion
271
Annotated Selected Bibliography
277
Index
285
About the Author
295
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Michael J. Seth is associate professor of history, James Madison University.

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