Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era, 1961-1979

Development, Political Thought, Democracy, and Cultural Influence

Edited by Hyung-A Kim and Clark W. Sorensen

  • $45.00s paperback (9780295991405) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: October 2011
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies, Political Science
  • Bibliographic information: 224 pp., 3 illus., notes, bibliog., index, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World
  • Distributed for: Center for Korea Studies, University of Washington
  • Series: A Center for Korea Studies Publication
  • Contents

The Republic of Korea achieved a double revolution in the second half of the twentieth century. In just over three decades, South Korea transformed itself from an underdeveloped, agrarian country into an affluent, industrialized one. At the same time, democracy replaced a long series of military authoritarian regimes. These historic changes began under President Park Chung Hee, who seized power through a military coup in 1961 and ruled South Korea until his assassination on October 26, 1979. While the state’s dominant role in South Korea’s rapid industrialization is widely accepted, the degree to which Park was personally responsible for changing the national character remains hotly debated. This book examines the rationale and ideals behind Park’s philosophy of national development in order to evaluate the degree to which the national character and moral values were reconstructed.

Hyung-A Kim is associate professor of Korean politics at the Australian National University and author of Korea’s Development under Park Chung Hee: Rapid Industrialization, 1961 - 1979. Clark W. Sorensen is director of the Center for Korean Studies, University of Washington, and author of Over the Mountains Are Mountains:Korean Peasant Households and Their Adaptations to Rapid Industrialization. The other contributors are Myungkoo Kang, Young Jak Kim, Tadashi Kimiya, Hagen Koo, Gavan McCormack, Nak-Chung Paik, James B. Palais, and Seok-Man Yoon.

"The merely curious will find that Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era tells the basic history of Park's nearly eighteen years as president . . . whereas serious scholars of Korean history will find the variety of interpretation, extensive bibliographic notes, and transliterations . . . a springboard for further study." -Nathan Hoskinson, Asian Affairs, March 2013

"Wider in perspective . . . Kim and Sorensen's book includes contributions by historians, an anthropologist, a literary critic and even a former CEO of POSCO. . . [and] chapters on the labor movement and rural society, and . . . popular mentalities under . . .'compressed modernization.'" -Charles K. Armstrong, Global Asia, December 2011