Korea Old & New is an attempt to meet the need for a general history of Korea that provides detailed treatment of the post-1945 period while at the same time describing at some length the traditional historical-cultural milieu from which modern Korea has developed. For understandable reasons the history of Korea always has been poorly chronicled. In the present century, Korea's long suffering under Japanese colonial rule &, since liberation in 1945, a multiplicity of both domestic & external factors have resulted either in tendentious history or in coverage badly skewed in its emphasis on such dramatic events as the Korean War or South Korea's remarkable economic successes. The need for a more balanced survey, then, & one concerned equally with the old Korea & the new, is clear. The coverage of traditional Korea in Korea Old & New is largely based upon Prof. Kibaik Lee's A New History of Korea, published in both Korea & the United States in 1984. In this account, Prof. Lee & his translator, Prof. Edward W. Wagner of Harvard University, have emphasized cultural developments not merely as isolated expressions of the creative spirit of the Korean people but as integrally related to Korea's political, social, & economic history. The book's preponderant concern, however, is with the tumultuous history of Korea's past century or so, & each distinct period is treated by a different specialist. Thus the late traditional years, up to the annexation by Japan in 1910, have been the responsibility of Professor Young Ick Lew of Hallym University, Korea, while the coverage of the period 1910-1990 is by two American authorities on the modern history of Korea: Prof. Michael Robinson, Univ. of Southern California & Prof. Carter J. Eckert, Harvard Univ.
Korea Old and New
Harvard University Press