Korea

James E. Hoare, Author, Hoare, Author, Susan Pares, With Kegan Paul International $150 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7103-0299-1
Hoare, a staffer at London's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and London-based freelance writer Pares hope to ``whet appetites'' among general readers with this informative introduction to the life, history and institutions of South Koreans. Beginning with an outline of the mountainous peninsula's geographical framework, they recount Korea's turbulent history from its bronze age to the current economic boom. In addition to enlightening passages on family life, male-female relationships, friendships, age and seniority, education and student demonstrations, coverage of Korean culture quickly skims over paintings, ceramics, literature, dance, music, film, theater and architecture: ``Where a similar Chinese building seeks to impress through scale and grandeur and a Japanese one strikes an austere note, a Korean structure appeals through its sense of intimacy.'' The wide range of Korean religious activity, from shamanism and Buddhism to Confucianism and Christianity, is examined. Issues of unification, housing, employment, education and equal opportunities for women, the authors note, are ``shadows'' clouding the ``major triumph'' of the upcoming Olympic games. Readers will find this background book a satisfying primer. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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