By Michael J. Seth
During this accomplished but compact publication, 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 historical past from their inception to the 2 Korean states of this day. Telling the amazing tale of the origins and evolution of a society that borrowed and followed from out of the country, Seth describes how a variety of tribal peoples within the peninsula got here jointly to shape one of many worlds such a lot specific groups. He indicates how this historic, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society was once wrenched into the area of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, fell sufferer to jap expansionism, after which turned arbitrarily divided into hostile halves, North and South, after international warfare II.
Tracing the prior seven many years, the ebook explains how the 2 Koreas, with their deeply varied political and social structures and geopolitical orientations, developed into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising commence, grew to become 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, in contrast, 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 considerably diversified and traditionally exceptional trajectories of the 2 Koreas, previously one tight-knit society. all through, he provides a richdimension via putting Korean heritage into broader worldwide point of view and by way of together with fundamental readings from each one period. All readers trying to find a balanced, a professional historical past should be richly rewarded with this transparent and concise booklet.
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Additional resources for A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present
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. Hwanung metamorphosed himself, lay with her, and begot a son called Tan’gun Wanggo˘m. [Tan’gun later was often considered the first Korean and/or founder of the first Korean state. This account goes on to say that in the “fiftieth year of the reign of Emperor Yao,” on a date calculated as October 3, 2333 BCE, Tan’gun was said to have established the state of Choso˘n.
Also interesting is the fact that bronze was not associated with state formation in Korea as it has been elsewhere. Despite efforts by some nationalist Korean historians to claim bronze artifacts as evidence of early states, it is unlikely that any organization above the tribal level existed at this time. Iron also probably came to the peninsula from China sometime before 300 BCE. Iron is important not only because it is superior to stone for cutting trees, clearing fields, and eliminating enemies, but also because it contributed to economic specialization and the development of trade.
In the recorded legend, Saro prior to Pak had been made up of six villages. 4 Subsequently, the villages were under his united rule. The date 57 BCE is far too early for the likely founding of the Silla state. It is of symbolic importance for later Silla historians who established this traditional chronology because it makes their state older than its two neighbors. The date itself is derived by counting back twelve sixty-year cycles (these cycles were the principal unit of measuring years in East Asia) from 663 CE, the year that Paekche was finally destroyed.
A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present by Michael J. Seth