Korea: The Impossible Country

Author(s): Daniel Tudor


South Korea's amazing rise from the ashes: the inside story of an economic, political, and cultural phenomenon Long overshadowed by Japan and China, South Korea is a small country that happens to be one of the great national success stories of the postwar period. From a failed state with no democratic tradition, ruined and partitioned by war, and sapped by a half-century of colonial rule, South Korea transformed itself in just fifty years into an economic powerhouse and a democracy that serves as a model for other countries. With no natural resources and a tradition of authoritarian rule, Korea managed to accomplish a second Asian miracle. Daniel Tudor is a journalist who has lived in and written about Korea for almost a decade. In "Korea: The Impossible Country," Tudor examines Korea's cultural foundations; the Korean character; the public sphere in politics, business, and the workplace as well as the family, dating, and marriage. In doing so, he touches on topics as diverse as shamanism, clan-ism, the dilemma posed by North Korea, the myths about doing business in Korea, the Koreans' renowned hard-partying ethos, and why the infatuation with learning English is now causing huge social problems. South Korea has undergone two miracles at once: economic development and complete democratization. The question now is, will it become as some see Japan, a rich yet aging society, devoid of energy and momentum? Or will the dynamism of Korean society and its willingness to change as well as the opportunity it has now to welcome outsiders into its fold enable it to experience a third miracle that will propel it into the ranks of the world's leading nations in terms of human culture, democracy, and wealth? More than just one journalist's account, "Korea: The Impossible Country" also draws on interviews with many of the people who made South Korea what it is today. These include: Choi Min-sik, the star of "Old Boy"Park Won-soon, Mayor of SeoulSoyeon Yi, Korea's first astronaut Hong Myung-bo, legendary captain of KoreaAEs 2002 FIFA World Cup teamShin Joong-hyun, the 'Godfather of Korean Rock'Ko Un, poetHong Seok-cheon, restaurateur, and the first Korean celebrity to 'come out'And many more, including a former advisor to President Park Chung-hee; a Shaman priestess ('mudang'); the boss of Korea's largest matchmaking agency; a 'room salon' hostess; an architect; as well as chefs, musicians, academics, entrepreneurs, homemakers, and chaebol conglomerate employees.

Product Information

"Daniel Tudor is one of the most influential foreign correspondents in South Korea--and one of the least known. As the reporter for the "Economist," which doesn't use bylines, most of his work is published anonymously. But Mr. Tudor's profile is about to take a sharp rise with the publication of his new book, "Korea: The Impossible Country." Mr. Tudor pushes into new social and economic territory with his book, including the rising role of immigrants, multicultural families and even gay people in South Korea. He lays out some of the contradictory behavior one finds in South Korea, such as the unending desire for new and trendy gadgets and fashion and yet the tunnel-like view of what constitutes a successful life."Wall Street Journal" Books on Korea are a plenty, but few seem to really get beyond kimchi and k-pop and deal with some of the less often-discussed topics that affect Koreans on a daily basis. We were therefore interested to hear that Daniel Tudor, the "Economist's" Korea Correspondent, has a book coming out later this month that really delves deep into South Korean contemporary society. [...]the book portrays Korea from a comprehensive and fascinating angle that's worth sharing with our readers."--KoreaBang.com "With a new generation every five years, it's hard to keep up with Korea. This book is long overdue but Daniel Tudor has done a magnificent job filling the gap. Not only has he captured the new Korea, but he does so in an effortless style that leaves the reader wanting more."Michael Breen, author of "The Koreans" "Written with affection and deep knowledge, Daniel Tudor's book fills a huge gap in our understanding of one of Asia's least known countries. His engaging narrative overturns the stereotypes by depicting a society which, though full of stresses, strains and contradictions, has overcome poverty and dictatorship to become a prosperous democracy.

Daniel Tudor is a writer and journalist based in Korea, where he is the Korea correspondent for the "Economist" and contributes to "Newsweek Korea" and other publications. He holds degrees from Oxford University and Manchester University in England and has worked in finance in both Korea and Switzerland.

General Fields

  • : 9780804842525
  • : Tuttle Publishing
  • : Tuttle Publishing
  • : 0.485
  • : November 2012
  • : 203mm X 130mm X 31mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Daniel Tudor
  • : Hardback
  • : near fine
  • : 288
  • : 16-Page Colour Insert