The Koreans

The Koreans

3.55 (273 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Description

An authoritative introduction to Korea, set to be the world's next economic power, and its peoples ambitions and values. South Korea is set to follow in Japan's footsteps in becoming the world's next advanced industrial power. The country's economic ambitions have increasingly been felt in the West and Asia, none more so than in the UK where currently Korean investments amount to more than $4 billion. The Koreans are coming - but who are they? What are they like as a race? What are their values?. Like Japan of 15 years ago, Koreais now coming out of it's shell and asserting itself as a 1st tier economic power.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 163 x 243mm | 663g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion Business (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0752813536
  • 9780752813530

Review Text

Although Korea has a reputation on the world stage for its fierce competitiveness in the production of cars, electronics and other consumer goods, to this day relatively little is known about Korea and its people. Breen attempts to provide a thorough insight into the culture, values, economic and global ambitions of this ofter-overlooked medium-sized nation nested among its giant neighbours in the corner of Eastern Asia. In size, Korea (both North and South combined) is roughly equivalent in population and land area to Britain and unknowingly to many, Korea has an equally rich and colourful history. With records of civilization dating back to AD669 and beyond, Korea can claim to be one of the world's oldest nations. Her first notable technical triumphs were the pioneering work in printing and ceramics, which had a civilizing impact on Japan. But traumatic events over 1000 years later through the colonization by Japan and the division of the peninsula reversed Korea's fortunes and sunk Korea to new depths of poverty and backwardness. However as a commendable testament to the determined and diligent Korean national character and ambition, South Korea propelled itself to be the world's 11th largets economy, largely independent of assistance from the West. Yet as Breen discovers, Koreans themselves are complex and sometimes frustratingly difficult to understand. They are vigorious and expressive, yet bear terrible sadness and anger because of their history. In four parts, Breen gradually unravels the Koreans to 'see how they tick'. Part one describes Korean society and values, while part 2 traces the long and turbulent history, probably the most major influence on the behaviour and outlook of the Korean people today. Parts 3 and 4 are about how Koreans emerged from hopelessness, moving from paddy fields to silicon valley in one generation and the historic political shift from dictatorship to democracy. This is a fresh and crisply written, well-balanced book, a likely informed Korean counterpart to the searching bestselling analysis The English by Jeremy Paxman. This book will appeal to a wide audience from businesspeople seeking to do business in Korea, those who are associated with Koreans either by marriage or friendship or prospective visitors to the region. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

273 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 14% (39)
4 39% (106)
3 38% (104)
2 6% (16)
1 3% (8)
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