The New Koreans: The Story of a Nation
Just a few decades ago, the South Koreans were an impoverished, agricultural people. In one generation they moved from the fields to Silicon Valley. They accomplished this through three totally unexpected miracles: economic development, democratization, and the arrival of their culture to global attention.
Who are the Koreans? What are they like? The New Koreans examines how they have been perceived by outsiders, the features that color their "national character," and how their emergence from backwardness, poverty, and brutality happened. It also looks at why they remain unhappy--with the lowest birth rates and highest suicide rates in the developed world.
In The New Koreans, Michael Breen provides compelling insight into the history and character of this fascinating nation of South Korea, and casts an eye to future developments, as well as across the DMZ into North Korea.
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About the Author
"In an age where everyone is sharply critical of everyone else, The New Koreans is a delightful change of pace, pungent observations of Koreans as they see themselves and as outsiders see them, part history, part story telling, all pieces of a beautiful, frustrating, endearing puzzle fit together in a superb way as only a keen, veteran observer as Michael Breen can do."
--James Church, author of A Corpse in the Koryo
"If someone is going to live in Korea or do business with the Koreans, this is certainly the book to read. It gives informative and deep introduction to this fascinating (and not well-known) country, and, in addition, it is an engaging read."
--Andrei Lankov, author of The Dawn of Modern Korea
"Breen is back, and better than ever. This is a broad and deep exposition of South Korean history, politics, economy and society that will have even the oldest Korea hands going 'I never knew that'. Top drawer stuff."
--Daniel Tudor, author of Korea: The Impossible Country
"As Alexis de Tocqueville did with Americans of the 1830s, Michael Breen probes 21st century Koreans to the very core of their being. Never hesitating to skewer their fascinating idiosyncrasies, he paints a loving and, overall, admiring portrait highlighting strengths that in rapid-fire order have made the Republic of Korea an economic powerhouse and, now, a cultural exemplar. Not only is The New Koreans magnificent in its sweep and depth; as a bonus, it's way too much fun to read."
--Bradley K. Martin, author of Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader