New Books Network

Mark A. Nathan, “From the Mountains to the Cities: A History of Buddhist Propagation in Korea” (U Hawaii Press, 2018)
From the Mountains to the Cities A History of Buddhist Propagation in Korea (University of Hawaii Press, 2018), written by Mark A. Nathan, is a history of P’ogyo (Buddhist Propagation) on the Korean peninsula from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 21st that switches its focus to... Read More
Christopher Lovins, “King Chŏngjo: An Enlightened Despot in Early Modern Korea” (SUNY Press, 2019)
Though traditionally regarded as a monarch who failed to arrest the gradual decline of his kingdom, the Korean king Chŏngjo has benefited in recent decades from a wave of new scholarship which has reassessed both his reign and his role in Korean history. The latest to do so is Christopher... Read More
Sandra Fahy, “Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses on the Record” (Columbia UP, 2019)
“The things that are happening to North Korea are happening to all of us…they are part of the human community. To say that this is just a problem for North Korea is to say that North Koreans are not part of the human community.” In her new book, Dying for... Read More
Hye-Kyung Lee, “Cultural Policy in South Korea: Making a New Patron State” (Routledge, 2018)
Why does Korean cultural policy matter? In Cultural Policy in South Korea: Making a New Patron State (Routledge, 2018), Hye-Kyung Lee, a Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Creative Industries at Kings College, London, demonstrates the importance of South Korea is both an example in comparative cultural policy, and as a fascinating... Read More
Christina Yi, “Colonizing Language: Cultural Production and Language Politics in Modern Japan and Korea” (Columbia UP, 2018)
The fact that Korea’s experience of Japanese imperialism plays a role in present-day Japan-Korea relations is no secret to anyone. Questions of guilt, responsibility and atonement continue to bubble below, and occasionally break through, the surface of ties between two countries which otherwise have much in common culturally and in... Read More
Jieun Baek, “North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society” (Yale UP, 2016)
With recent events having raised hopes that significant change may be afoot in North Korea, it is important to remember that DPRK society has in fact been undergoing steady transformation for a considerable period of time. Among the most important dimensions of this are the changes that have occurred in... Read More
Andray Abrahamian, “North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths” (McFarland, 2018)
At an often-stressful time in global affairs, and with the very idea of the ‘international community’ seemingly under threat, it can be beneficial to look at the ‘global order’ from its disorderly fringes. Andray Abrahamian’s North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths (McFarland, 2018) does precisely this, comparing and contrasting North... Read More
Sandra Fahy, “Marching Through Suffering: Loss and Survival in North Korea” (Columbia UP, 2015)
Amidst an atmosphere of hope on the Korean Peninsula over the past year, questions over the wellbeing of North Korea’s population have again come to global attention. But this is far from the first time that such a subject has been in the news, for ever since the catastrophic famine... Read More
Don Baker, “Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Choson Korea” (U. Hawaii Press, 2017)
Shortly after the introduction of Catholicism into Korea in the late 18th century, Korea’s Confucian government began to persecute Catholics. Why would a Confucian government torture and kill the people it was supposed to protect and nurture? Why would Koreans turn to a religion that differed fundamentally from the established... Read More
Robert S. Boynton, “The Invitation-Only Zone: The True Story of North Korea’s Abduction Project” (FSG, 2016)
The inspiration for Robert S. Boynton‘s new book began with a photograph in the New York Times in October 2002. In the photo, two middle-aged Japanese couples and a single woman descending from a plane at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The headline read, “Tears and Hugs as 5 Abducted Japanese Go... Read More