Seoul Man: A Memoir of Cars, Culture, Crisis, and Unexpected Hilarity Inside a Korean Corporate Titan


Product Details

Harper Business
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.2 X 9.5 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

Frank Ahrens was a reporter at the Washington Post for eighteen years before joining Hyundai Motor Company for more than three years, eventually becoming a vice president. He lives in Washington, D.C.


"[Written] with humor and warmth... Amid the author's personal journey reside priceless cultural and professional insights."--Kirkus Reviews
"If you have ever worked in a baffling alien culture or endured a family separation because of your job, you will probably enjoy this book... An entertaining read."--Financial Times
"In this charming and affecting book, Ahrens finds out what makes this small but courageous country strive so relentlessly to be better. His portrait of Korea, the "shrimp between the two whales" of China and Japan, is filled with insights, youthful enthusiasm, and a zest for discovery."--Tim Clissold, author of the international bestseller Mr. China
"Lively, engaging and deeply personal, Seoul Man is at once a fascinating primer on the auto industry, a perceptive and often hilarious ex-pat adventure into "Koreanness," and the story of an ordinary man transformed through faith and the power of love."---Brigid Schulte, author of the New York Times bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play when No One has the Time
"Engagingly written and full of funny, intriguing probes into the quirks [Ahrens] discovers in his surroundings and himself. This is a nuanced look at a nation where an image of Western modernity is reflected and illuminated by an off-kilter mirror."--Publishers Weekly
"Ahrens's great strength is that he is sensitive to the people around him.... describing the young people with whom he worked in a Korea struggling to move on from a forced collective march of industrialization to a more individualistic and creative economy."--Washington Post
"This important book undertakes three stories in one narrative about a local man's brief sojourn in a bewildering new environment... With wit about his personal dilemmas and a keen reporter's eye...Mr. Ahrens gives the reader an accessible primer."--Washington Times
"A fun take on exactly what the subtitle promises."--Tyler Cowen, Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics at George Mason University
"Like Mark Twain in The Innocents Abroad, Ahrens gets good mileage out of his many gaffes as a naΓ―ve American bred to act quickly, blunder through problems and disregard authority... Seoul Man also looks into the history, culture, politics and business of the remarkable success story of modern South Korea."--Shelf Awareness