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English Text Books on Korean History

 

I would like to draw your attention to this publication.  To my classical Korean Martial Arts students in particular I recommend this book for reference. It's one of the most reliable as well as accessible (suitable for secondary school students) publications on the history of Korea from the pre-historic to the late 19th century (Vol. 1 Ancient), and from 1862 to approximately 2005 (Vol. 2 Modern). The books contain an abundance of illustrations, drawings, pictures, maps and chronological time-lines for readers unfamiliar with Korean history. We have a modest stock of these books so we're able to provide them quite easily.

 

'Korea through the Ages'

by The Academy of Korean Studies
Author: The Association of Korean History Teachers ISBN 89-7105-544-8 (Vol. 1, 2)

 

"... Written by several historians, belonging to The Association of Korean History Teachers, this book provides the most comprehensive survey history of Korea, available in English, and throws refreshing new light on many aspects of Korean history and culture. It relates with remarkable balance political and institutional structures with the contemporary cultural and social trends. Its other major strength lies in the successful interweaving of relevant excerpts from the original texts into the fabric of its narrative...."

 

from the preface by Pankaj Mohan
The University of Sydney

 

"... 'Korea through the Ages' is an educational text intended for scholars and students as well as general readers of the English-speaking world....
... This book differs from earlier educational publications on Korean history on several key aspects. Its presentation, to begin with, is highly reader-friendly. It presents only facts that are essential for the general understanding of Korean history in an easy-to-understand language.
Non-essential information such as names of people, places and government offices and ranks are kept to a minimum. However, due to the characteristics of historical writing, the reader will inevitably find a few references of this type....
... We tried to avoid a narrow view of restricting Korean history to the peninsula. The book is attentive to Korea's relationship to its neighboring countries and is written with world history in mind. Similarly, rather than emphasizing the particularities of Korean history, we sought to reveal universal elements in the midst of world history....
... Korean history as presented in this book is not one of great events, systems, and historic figures, but of the lives of ordinary people. It therefore challenges the conventional notion of history as stories of special and superior individuals and as a body of knowledge with no direct bearing on the life of the reader...."

 

Foreword (selection)

Lee Gil-sang, Editor