Eugene Y. Park

A Family of No Prominence

The Descendants of Pak Tokhwa and the Birth of Modern Korea

Stanford University Press 2014

New Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network October 20, 2014 Carla Nappi

Eugene Y. Park‘s A Family of No Prominence: The Descendants of Pak Tokhwa and the Birth of Modern Korea (Stanford University Press, 2014) traces...

Eugene Y. Park‘s A Family of No Prominence: The Descendants of Pak Tokhwa and the Birth of Modern Korea (Stanford University Press, 2014) traces this history by focusing on the Miryang Pak family. The history of transformations in the family’s social status and geography parallels that of modern Korea, and each chapter treats these different levels of Park’s story, extending from the medieval period through today. A Family of No Prominence is particularly reflective about the nature of genealogical history as a genre and practice, thoughtfully addressing the accuracy and reliability of family genealogies as historical source materials. Park also considers his place in the genealogy of the Miryang Pak clan, ultimately contextualizing his own historiographical experience within a larger story about the profound modern transformations in the ways that many Korean families think about and narrate the stories of their past.

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