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Korea in World History (Donald N. Clark)

ISBN 978-0-924304-66-8. 114 pages. Paperback.

“Donald Clark does a masterful job of situating the entire sweep of Korean history in its global context thus belying the shop worn stereotype of Korea as a “hermit nation.” Clark uses his mastery of both medieval and modern history to vividly describe the often ignored contributions of this fascinating society to East Asian civilization writ large. His concise chapter arrangement and lively narrative writing pulls the reader into the Korean story while showing just how relevant that story is, particularly in modern times, for an American readership. Clark has condensed without sacrificing important detail, and he emphasizes important themes from Korea’s past that have combined with the turbulent 20th century to produce the complex strategic and economic situation at the beginning of the 21st century on the peninsula. Particularly trenchant are his chapters on the division of Korea as well as a thoughtful treatment of North Korea which is too often ignored in other texts. This book will make an excellent companion volume in East Asia survey courses, and other courses on East Asia. After all, as Prof. Clark points out again and again, understanding Korea remains vital to a true appreciation of East Asia’s past and present.” — MICHAEL ROBINSON, Professor and Chair, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Indiana University
Author, Korea’s Twentieth Century Odyssey: A Short History

“Don Clark has woven all the important threads into this narrative on Korea. He covers this extremely complicated country, with its long history, its complicated international setting, and its current divided status with clarity and insight that only Prof. Clark could do. Don’s years of residence in South Korea and his numerous visits to North Korea are reflected in his narration. His work covers the richness of the premodern period, the causes and subsequent impact of the Japanese period, and he treats the divided nations of today’s Korea with rare sympathy and understanding.” — MARK PETERSON, Associate Professor, Asian and Near Eastern Languages, Brigham Young University. Author, A Brief History of Korea