By James Hoare
Publication by means of Hoare, James, Pares, Susan
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Extra info for Korea (World Bibliographical Series)
Page xxv There are some clear patterns. The study of linguistics is a particularly strong field, even if one not likely to appeal to the general and non-specialist reader. Although often referred to as 'the forgotten war', the Korean War has in reality led to a cornucopia of published material. This ranges from personal reminiscences, some in fictional form, through a selection of popular works concentrating on men in battle, to a series of 'Official Histories' sponsored by the governments of several of the major countries which contributed troops to the UN Command, and from South Korea.
There were some benefits as the Japanese began the introduction of modern methods of administration, but many Koreans remained unhappy with what had happened to their country. Opposition was ruthlessly suppressed. In 1909, the first Japanese Resident-General, Prince Ito Hirobumi, was assassinated by a Korean patriot at Harbin, and the following year the Japanese completed the process of takeover, annexing the peninsula as a colony. Over a thousand years of independence were wiped out, and the Korea Royal Family were displaced.
They marked an attempt by a young Korean intellectual to probe beneath the surface of Korean society and interpret it for the ordinary reader. The essays do not attempt any form of scientific evaluation of that society, and there are no statistics to back up the author's views and assertions, although he does bring his knowledge of other societies to provide some comparative assessments. Inevitably, some of the essays describe a world and conditions which have vanished, but most retain their value.