By Michael J. Seth
During this accomplished but compact e-book, Michael J. Seth surveys Korean background from Neolithic occasions to the current. He explores the origins and improvement of Korean society, politics, and its nonetheless little-known cultural background from their inception to the 2 Korean states of this present day. Telling the awesome tale of the origins and evolution of a society that borrowed and followed from in another country, Seth describes how quite a few tribal peoples within the peninsula got here jointly to shape one of many worlds such a lot particular groups. He exhibits how this historic, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society used to be wrenched into the area of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, fell sufferer to jap expansionism, after which turned arbitrarily divided into antagonistic halves, North and South, after international struggle II.
Tracing the earlier seven a long time, the ebook explains how the 2 Koreas, with their deeply diversified political and social structures and geopolitical orientations, developed into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising commence, turned one of many few postcolonial constructing states to go into the ranks of the 1st global, with a globally aggressive economic climate, a democratic political procedure, and a sophisticated and dynamic tradition. North Korea, against this, grew to become one of many worlds so much totalitarian and remoted societies, a nuclear energy with an impoverished and famine-stricken inhabitants. Seth describes and analyzes the substantially assorted and traditionally exceptional trajectories of the 2 Koreas, previously one tight-knit society. all through, he provides a richdimension by means of putting Korean heritage into broader worldwide point of view and via together with basic readings from each one period. All readers searching for a balanced, an expert heritage may be richly rewarded with this transparent and concise publication.
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Extra info for A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present
Indd 25 9/21/10 5:23 AM 26 Chapter 1 of some three hundred and sixty areas of responsibility, including agriculture, allotted life spans, illness, punishment, and good and evil, and brought culture to his people. At that time a bear and a tiger living in the same cave prayed to Holy Hwanung to transform them into human beings. ” Both animals ate the species and avoided the sun. After twenty-one days the bear became a woman but the tiger, unable to observe the taboo, remained a tiger. Unable to find a husband, the bearwoman prayed under the altar tree for a child.
The task of historians to sort out the links and patterns within this complex has been made more difficult by the strong nationalist sentiments that prevail in the region today, and by the tendency to project modern notions of national and ethnic identity anachronistically onto these early times. Thus, by the second half of the fourth century a number of clearly defined states emerged. These are no longer tribal units or chiefdoms but strong centralized states that were ruled by kings who governed through administrative officials and who were cut off from ordinary subjects by their supernatural origins and their exalted status.
Indd 26 9/21/10 5:23 AM 2 X The Period of the Three Kingdoms, 4th Century to 676 T he fourth century is an important period for Korean history. It was a time when the welter of peoples, polities, and imperial outposts that had characterized Korea was replaced by three large, well-developed states: Koguryo˘, Paekche, and Silla. The next three centuries saw the development of Korean society and culture within the frameworks of these three states and their struggle for the mastery of the peninsula.