A History of Korea

A History of Korea

From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict
Kim, Jinwung
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/05/2012
Format: Hardback 9 b&w illus., 8 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-00024-8
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 

Other formats available:


Contemporary North and South Korea are nations of radical contrasts: one a bellicose totalitarian state with a failing economy; the other a peaceful democracy with a strong economy. Yet their people share a common history that extends back more than 3,000 years. In this comprehensive new history of Korea from the prehistoric era to the present day, Jinwung Kim recounts the rich and fascinating story of the political, social, cultural, economic, and diplomatic developments in Korea’s long march to the present. He provides a detailed account of the origins of the Korean people and language and the founding of the first walled-town states, along with the advanced civilization that existed in the ancient land of "Unified Silla." Clarifying the often complex history of the Three Kingdoms Period, Kim chronicles the five-century long history of the Choson dynasty, which left a deep impression on Korean culture. From the beginning, China has loomed large in the history of Korea, from the earliest times when the tribes that would eventually make up the Korean nation roamed the vast plains of Manchuria and against whom Korea would soon define itself. Japan, too, has played an important role in Korean history, particularly in the 20th century; Kim tells this story as well, including the conflicts that led to the current divided state. The first detailed overview of Korean history in nearly a quarter century, this volume will enlighten a new generation of students eager to understand this contested region of Asia.

Author Bio

Jinwung Kim is Professor of History at Kyungpook National University in Taegu, South Korea. He has published widely on South Korean–U.S. relations, with a particular focus on South Korean perceptions of the United States.


Using the latest sources, including recently declassified Communist documents, Jinwung Kim’s book holds promise of becoming the textbook of choice. Benefiting from his direct and intimate knowledge of the country, he writes with great clarity, providing rich and interesting descriptions of political, social, cultural, economic, and diplomatic developments throughout the history of Korea.

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

I. Dawn of the Korean Nation
1. The Prehistoric Age
2. The Origins of the Korean People
3. Old Chosn
4. Confederated Kingdoms
II. The Period of the Three Kingdoms (57 BCE -- 676 CE)
5. The Growth of Kogury
6. The Rise and Decline of Paekche
7. The Rise and Growth of Silla
8. The Rise and Fall of Kaya
9. Silla’s Unification
10. Political and Social Structure of the Three Kingdoms
11. Culture of the Three Kingdoms
12. The Three Kingdoms and Japan
13. "History War" with China
III. Parhae, Unified Silla, and the Later Three Kingdoms (676 -- 936)
14. Parhae’s Rise and Growth
15. Government and Society of Unified Silla
16. Flourishing Culture of Unified Silla
17. The Later Three Kingdoms
IV. The First Half of the Kory Period (918 --1170)
18. Forging a Centralized Government
19. Ruling Structure
20. Economic and Social Structure
21. Foreign Relations in the Early Kory Period
22. Development of Aristocratic Culture
V. The Second Half of the Kory Period (1170 – 1392)
23. Disturbing Kory Society
24. Kory and the Mongols
25. The Downfall of Kory
VI. The First Half of the Chosn Period (1392 – 1650)
26. Establishment of a New Order
27. Reorganization of the Ruling Structure
28. Social Structure and Economic Life
29. Territorial Expansion and Foreign Relations
30. Culture in Early Chosn
31. The Growth of the Neo-Confucian Literati
32. The Struggle with the Japanese and Manchus
VII. The Second Half of the Chosn Period (1650 – 1910)
33. The Revival of the Dynasty
34. The Rehabilitation of Culture
35. The Dynasty in Disturbance
36. Culture in the 19th Century
37. Politics of the Taewn’gun
38. The Open Door Policy and the Reform Movement
39. The Tonghak Peasant War and the Kabo Reform
40. Japanese Aggression and the Downfall of Chosn
VIII. The Period of Japanese Colonial Rule (1910 – 194

Related Titles