Author(s): Michael Breen
In the course of a couple of generations, South Koreans took themselves out of the paddy fields and into Silicon Valley, establishing themselves as a democracy alongside the advanced countries of the world. Yet for all their ambition and achievement, the new Koreans are a curiously self-deprecating people. Theirs is a land with a rich and complex past, certain aspects of which they would prefer to forget as they focus on the future. Having lived and worked in South Korea for many years, Michael Breen considers what drives the nation today, and where it is heading. Through insightful anecdotes and observations, he provides a compelling portrait of Asia's most contradictory and polarized country. South Koreans are motivated by defiance, Breen argues: defiance of their antagonistic neighbour, North Korea, of their own history and of international opinion. Here is an overlooked nation with, great drive, determined to succeed on its own terms.
"A broad and deep exposition of South Korean history, politics, economy and society that will have even the oldest Korea hands going "I never knew that".'" -- Daniel Tudor, author of Korea: The Impossible Country "Not only is The New Koreans magnificent in its sweep and depth; as a bonus, it's...fun to read" -- Bradley K. Martin, author of Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader "[An] informative, deep introduction to this fascinating (and not well-known) country and, in addition, an engaging read." Andrei Lankov, author of The Dawn of Modern Korea
Michael Breen is a writer and consultant who first went to Korea as a correspondent in 1982. He covered North and South Korea for several newspapers, including the Guardian, The Times and the Washington Times. He lives in Seoul.