"Kim's thorough analysis of the 1812 Rebellion's cause and events, the players involved, agendas or self-interests have contemporary relevance, not just within the Korean borders, but globally . . ."
"In portraying the rebellion as based in regional resentment and led by an elite that appealed to popular prophecies and superstitions in order to mobilize the populace, Kim implicitly suggests that Hong's uprising was not rooted in the broad historical trends that much scholarship has identified as signs of the dynasty's decline. Kim's approach offers a very different historical context for the rebellion and is one of the more important-and contentious-findings of the book.... Other work, following Kim's fine lead in committing to more regional history, will be needed to answer... the many... questions raised, both implicitly and explicitly, by Kim's provocative work."
-Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
"...An admirable example of a persuasive multidimensional analysis of a major historical event. Important not only for Korea historians, but also for comparativists of rebellions in the context of larger social change in world history, I expect this well-researched book to remain a classic for many years to come."
-Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 68, No. 3, August 2009