The Koreas

The Koreas

The Koreas

The Koreas

Excerpt

Asia in Focus: The Koreas is an attempt to meet the need for a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to both North Korea and South Korea. What has been available is often too detailed for the general reader, especially the young. It is my hope that the book will serve those who are new to a study of Korea as well as those who have some knowledge of the nation’s long and dramatic history, its distinctive culture, and the courage, perseverance, and accomplishments of its people. It is also my hope that educators will find it to be a very practical and engaging resource for bringing Korean history and culture into their classrooms. For those who plan to travel in Korea for pleasure or for conducting business, this book is intended to serve as a helpful guide.

My intellectual odyssey with Korea began in 1993. By that time I had taught history (United States, Europe, and China and Japan) for 22 years on the secondary level. I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Jon Covell, Fulbright scholar, art historian, author of five books on Korea, and a woman whose passion for that culture was passed on to me. In one of our first conversations about Asia, she said, “You know, Korea is the most interesting of the Asian cultures.” I became captivated by Korea and incorporated its history and culture into my curriculum.

Since I began my own discovery, I have had the pleasure of communicating with many Koreans in the United States and abroad. Inevitably, my own passion delights and at times amazes them. As a result of numerous speaking engagements and the publication of articles on teaching about Asia, I received a Korea Society Fellowship in 2000 to study and travel in Korea. Since this fellowship and subsequent trips to South Korea and North Korea, the Korean peninsula has virtually become the . . .

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