By Michael J. Seth
During this accomplished but compact ebook, Michael J. Seth surveys Korean historical past from Neolithic occasions to the current. He explores the origins and improvement of Korean society, politics, and its nonetheless little-known cultural background from their inception to the 2 Korean states of this day. Telling the amazing tale of the origins and evolution of a society that borrowed and followed from in another country, Seth describes how numerous tribal peoples within the peninsula got here jointly to shape one of many worlds so much precise groups. He exhibits how this old, culturally and ethnically homogeneous society used to be wrenched into the realm of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, fell sufferer to jap expansionism, after which grew to become arbitrarily divided into hostile halves, North and South, after global struggle II.
Tracing the earlier seven a long time, the publication explains how the 2 Koreas, with their deeply various political and social platforms and geopolitical orientations, advanced into sharply contrasting societies. South Korea, after an unpromising commence, grew to become one of many few postcolonial constructing states to go into the ranks of the 1st global, with a globally aggressive economic system, a democratic political procedure, and a worldly and dynamic tradition. North Korea, against this, grew to become one of many worlds so much totalitarian and remoted societies, a nuclear strength with an impoverished and famine-stricken inhabitants. Seth describes and analyzes the significantly various and traditionally unheard of trajectories of the 2 Koreas, previously one tight-knit society. all through, he provides a richdimension through putting Korean background into broader international viewpoint and by way of together with basic readings from every one period. All readers searching for a balanced, an expert heritage may be richly rewarded with this transparent and concise ebook.
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Extra info for A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present
9 By the second century BCE, Chinese works such as the Zhanguoce (Strategies of the Warring States) and the Shangshu dazhuan (Commentary on the Esteemed Documents) refer to an area called Chaoxian. Although some later Korean histories would assert that the state was founded by Tan’gun in 2333 BCE, the earliest uncontested date for a political entity called Choso˘n is 109 BCE10 At that time, the Chinese, under Emperor Han Wudi, attacked and conquered Chaoxian, or Choso˘n. Almost everything about the origin and nature of this Choso˘n is obscure.
This means that Korean has no initial b, d, hard g, or j sounds but has three p, three t, three ch, and three k sounds. This plus the complex system of sound changes makes it a difficult language for most nonnative speakers to pronounce. It is highly inflected and has no tones. Although modern Korean is filled with many Chinese loanwords it does not resemble Chinese at all. The distinctiveness of Korean native vocabulary and phonology is a source of pride to some modern Korean nationalists who like to emphasize Korean uniqueness.
The forests of Korea, especially during the postPleistocene climatic optimum from 6000 to 2000 BCE, contained great bounties of edible plants: acorns, chestnuts, arrowroots, turnips, green onions, garlic, and Japanese camellia. 4 In the fourth millennium, the beginnings of agriculture appear. Millet, native to Korea, was probably the first major domesticated plant, and by the end of the chu˘lmun its cultivation was widespread, as was the domestication of the pig. Evidence for plant domestication is found in the existence of grinding stones, hoes, and stone sickles at archaeological sites.
A History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present by Michael J. Seth