A Brief History of Korea: Isolation, War, Despotism and Revival: The Fascinating Story of a Resilient But Divided People
Michael J. Seth


Paperback | Nov 2019 | Tuttle Publishing | 9780804851022 | 288pp | 203x140mm | GEN | AUD$24.99

Korean culture developed on a 600-mile-long peninsula, bordered on the north by mountains and three sides by the sea, set apart from the Asian mainland. Korea was one of the last countries in Asia to be visited by Westerners and its borders have remained largely unchanged since it was unified in the seventh century. Though it is one of the world's oldest and most ethnically homogeneous states, Korea was not born in a vacuum. 

Geographically isolated, the country was heavily influenced by powerful China and was often used as a bridge to the mainland by Japan. Calling themselves as "a shrimp among whales," Koreans borrowed elements of government, culture and religion all the while fiercely fighting to maintain independence from powerful neighbors. 

This fascinating book tells the story of Korean domestic dynasties, empires and states, as well as foreign conquest, occupation and division. Today, the two Koreas are starkly different-North Korea a nation closed to the world and South Korea an economic powerhouse and centre of Asian democracy. Chronicling significant events right up through 2018's Singapore Summit, author Michael J. Seth presents a relevant, interesting and important history of Korea within a larger global context. Korea's history is a turbulent one, but ultimately the story of a resistant and resourceful people in search of lasting peace.

'A highly readable and enjoyable book that will serve as an excellent way in to Korean history for anyone with an interest in the country' — Daniel Tudor, author of Korea, The Impossible Country and North Korea