The following list of books, DVDs, CDs, videos, newspapers, etc., are media that we can recommend to you if you are contemplating a visit to this country. We have tried to identify three books, including at least one guidebook, that we would most strongly recommend you read or at least browse before you go. If you have more time and interest you can get as deeply involved as you like. You may find some of these materials more relevant when you come back and want to get answers to questions that developed in-country. We also like to recommend various DVDs with films or documentaries that you should find educational. They will also give you a glimpse of the country before you actually arrive. Most of these items have a link to Amazon where you can purchase them if you like, but some materials are not available at Amazon (is that really possible?) and have links to other sites. We hope you find this list helpful.

Korean War
Contemporary History
Travel Guides

Korean War
Korean War, The
By Matthew B. Ridgway
Da Capo Press, Inc., 1986

One of the most respected military leaders of the century, General Ridgway tells for the first time how the Korean War was fought and won; why MacArthur had to be dismissed; what lessons of that war should be applied in Southeast Asia; and why future wars must be fought for clear and limited objectives. Top

Contemporary History
Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression,The
By Stephane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, et. al
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1999

"An 800-page compendium of the crimes of Communist regimes worldwide, recorded and analyzed in ghastly detail by a team of scholars. The facts and figures, some of them well known, others newly confirmed in hitherto inaccessible archives, are irrefutable. The myth of the well-intentioned founders--the good czar Lenin betrayed by his evil heirs--has been laid to rest for good. No one will any longer be able to claim ignorance or uncertainty about the criminal nature of Communism, and those who had begun to forget will be forced to remember anew." --Tony Judt, New York Times Top

Crisis on the Korean Peninsula: How to Deal with a Nuclear North Korea
By Michael O'Hanlon & Mike Mochizuki
McGraw-Hill, New York, N.Y., 2003

Before George W. Bush proclaimed it a member of the "axis of evil," North Korea had already spent decades at odds with the rest of the world. Crisis on the Korean Peninsula summarizes the bizarre personality cults, economic misery, human rights abuses, and tortured history that characterize the "hermit kingdom," while also suggesting a bold plan for dealing with it and defusing today's most perilous nuclear crisis. Top

Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S. Disengagement
By Selig S. Harrison
Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 2002

Korean Endgame is the first authoritative challenge to U.S. policies in Korea designed to maintain a permanent military presence there even after reunification. Selig Harrison shows why North Korea is not--as many policymakers expect--about to collapse. And he explains why existing U.S. policies hamper North-South reconciliation and reunification. Assessing North Korean capabilities and the motivations that have led to its forward deployments, he spells out the arms control concessions by North Korea, South Korea, and the United States necessary to ease the dangers of confrontation.
A veteran journalist with decades of extensive firsthand knowledge of North Korea, Harrison combines probing scholarship with a seasoned reporter's on-the-ground experience and insights to give us a definitive book on U.S. policy in Korea--past, present, and future. Top

State and Society in Contempory Korea
By Hagen Koo, Editor
Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y., 1993

Seven of the most highly regarded Korean specialists examine the evolution of state-society relations in Korea since the end of World War II. They portray Korea's remarkable transition to a modern industrial society as a process far more complex and conflict-ridden than previous writers have suggested.
State and Society in Contemporary Korea moves beyond narrow economic concerns to explore spheres of civil society which have been neglected in literature on economic development. Each chapter highlights a distinct pattern of Korean modernization, and the book covers such topics as emerging classes, historical sources of political cleavages, institutional bases of development policies, the rise of the minjung movement, the hegemony problem of the new bourgeoisie, and conflicts over cultural construction. A chapter on the "hermit kingdom" of North Korea rounds out the book's coverage of society and politics on the Korean perimeter.
By placing the study of Korean state and society in a broader, richer historical and cultural context, this book promotes a more solid understanding of the deeper aspects of Korea's industrial transformation. Top

Modern Korean Fiction: An Anthology
By Bruce Fulton and Youngmin Kwon, Editors
Columbia University Press, N.Y., 2005

To represent the past century of Korean fiction, this definitive collection extends beyond familiar writers, challenges cultural norms, and crosses political borders. By including stories from neglected female, North Korean, and wôlbuk writers (those who migrated to the North after 1945 and whose works were widely banned in South Korea), and by bringing politically engaged works together with experimental ones, this anthology articulates the ruptures and resolutions that have marked the peninsula.
From sketches of desperate peasants in straitened circumstances to fast-moving, visceral tales of contemporary South Korea, the works in this collection bear witness to the dramatic transformations and events in twentieth-century Korean history, including Japanese colonial rule, civil war, and economic modernization in the South. The writers explore these developments through a variety of literary and political lenses, revealing with precision and poignancy their impact on Korean society and the lives of ordinary Koreans. This anthology includes an introduction, which synthesizes the key developments in modern Korean literature, and a comprehensive bibliography of Korean fiction in translation. Top

Travel Guides
Insider's Guide to Korea, The
By Peter Popham
Hunter Publishing, Inc., Edison, N.J., 1988

Author Peter Popham takes a fresh look at the "hermit kingdom," guiding the reader through South Korea's fascinating cultural heritage and history. The Insider's Guide to Korea covers the entire country from the snowy heights of Mt. Sorak and the royal ruins of Kyongju to the semi-tropical pleasures of Cheju Island, the boisterous and sensual experiences of kimch'i and barbecued beef, the steamy gloom of the public baths, the flowery intimacy of the traditional inn, and the dynamism of Korean music and dance. Top

Korea--Insight Guides
By Tom Le Bas, Editor
Apa Publications GmbH & Co., Singapore, 2002

From the misty peaks of Scoraksan to the neon lights of downtown Seoul, and from the beaches of Jeju-do to the temples of Gyeongju, it's all here in Korea--Insight Guides, accompanied by evocative photography that vividly conveys a sense of everyday life; illuminating text by expert writers who bring to life Korea's history, culture, arts, politics, and, above all, its people; detailed, specially-drawn, cross-referenced maps with all major sites highlighted; and full listings of all the travel details, hotels, restaurants, and phone numbers you'll need during your visit. Top

Korea: Lonely Planet
By Martin Robinson, Andrew Bender, et al.
Lonely Planet Publications, Australia, 2004

Densely forested mountains, colourful Buddhist temples and sleek modern cities--discover all this and much more with this bestselling guidebook. Korea's welcoming people, unique culture, and incomparable cuisine make it one of the great destinations of Northeast Asia. Whatever your pleasure, this book covers it all: North, South, eats, the works!
Be inspired by Korea: Lonely Planet's new highlights and itineraries sections; get around with the help of over 100 detailed maps, including a full-colour map of Seoul; dine out in the best restaurants with the Korean menu decoder; understand the country from religion to politics and war by perusing fascinating history and culture chapters; and even venture North by checking out the chapter on North Korea--an even stranger and more sinister place than the plot of the Ian Fleming novel you bought at the airport! Top

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