The History of Korea
2nd Edition
by Djun Kil Kim
May 2014, 278pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-581-7
$70, £54, 61€, A96
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-582-4
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In 1945, the Allied victors of World War II created North and South Korea.

This revised edition examines North and South Korea's political, socio-economic, and cultural history from the Neolithic period to the early 21st century, including issues of recent political unrest and preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Korea continues to be featured in the news, especially after the succession of Kim Jong-un as leader of North Korea and his threats of nuclear attack. Yet the reported instability of the North is contrasted by the rapid modernization revolution of the South. Author Djun Kil Kim analyzes how tragic experiences in the regions’ collective history—particularly Japanese colonial rule and the division of the country—have contributed to the dichotomous state of affairs in the Koreas.

This comprehensive overview traces the development of two contradistinctive nations—North and South Korea—with communism in the north and democracy and industrialization in the south transforming the geopolitical and geo-economic condition of each area. Author Kim explores specific doctrines that revolutionized Korea: Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism in the mid-7th and the late 14th centuries; and communism and American functionalism in the 20th century. The second edition includes an updated timeline, new biographical sketches of notable people, and an additional chapter covering the events of 2004 through the present day.


  • Includes an expanded bibliography with additional print and electronic sources
  • Provides updated accounts of both North and South Korea's more recent events that enable readers to grasp the global significance and power of both nations
Djun Kil Kim, MA, is professorial and research chair of the Samsung Korean Studies Program at the University of Asia and the Pacific, Manila, Philippines. His works include "The Saemaul Undong Movement in the Republic of Korea: Sharing Knowledge on Community-Driven Development" (a report created for the Asia Development Bank) as well as several titles published in the Korean language: Macro History of Korea and Culture vs. Culture: A Memoire. Previously, Kim held positions at Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies in Korea, Brigham Young University, and Stockholm University. He holds a master's degree in sociology from Seoul National University.


"This entry from the Greenwood Histories of Modern Nations series provides a wealth of information. . . . Recommended for school, college, and public libraries."—ARBAonline, April 1, 2015

The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations

Every school and public library should update its resources with these engagingly written and succinct narrative histories of the world’s nations covering prehistoric times through today. Based on the most recent scholarship, each history provides a chronological narrative examining the political, cultural, philosophical, and religious continuities in the featured nation’s long, rich history in an exploration of how its people came to be who they are today. Each volume includes a chronological narrative history, a timeline of events, biographical sketches of key figures, a glossary, and a bibliographic essay.
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