on August 18, 2000
This book provides an excellent overview of Korean history. It is neither too skimpy nor too detailed. It also contains a number of useful photographs (black and white) and illustrations (black and white), which helped me read this book through. While many books (either written in English or translated into English) on Korean history deal almost exclusively with Korean War, only a few books are available that describe the history of Korea from its prehistoric beginnings to the modern colonial occupation of Korea by Japan. Although Korea is the most important neighboring country of Japan, the history textbooks used in Japanese schools spare very little space for this topic. I recommend this book to anyone, who is interested in learning Korean history, as a first book to read.
on November 18, 2002
This book is very difficult to read because it is not well-written and also because there are too many details. Furthermore, the author introduces so many characters in each chapter but never talks about them again later in the book. So it is difficult to determine who is important and who is not important.
I find it impossible to believe that one reviewer found this book "neither too skimpy nor too detailed." How else do I know that this book is truly too detailed and inaccessible for most readers? One of the translators, Edward Wagner, concedes in another book ("Korea: Old and New") that this book was, in fact, too detailed.
on May 9, 2003
I read this book to get an understanding of the history of korea in the greater sense, and also as one of a group of books on Korean history. It is very comprehensive, coverinig gthe range of Korean history from a brief synopsis of the prehistory of Korea, through the major part of ancient Korean history to the bulk of more modern history. I enjoyed this book finding it to be an interesting read, with a lot of details, would make a good history text for a class on korean history, which is exactly what I wanted from this book.