"This is a superb work. In its appreciation of the dynamic character of the politics of labor at the plant level, it has no peer."
-Andrew Gordon, Harvard University
"This first-rate scholarly work throws light on a period of South Korea's labor history that has received little attention and has been largely misunderstood. Hwasook Nam demonstrates the historical linkages connecting South Korea's contemporary labor movement to the labor activism during the immediate postwar period as well as to the colonial legacy of labor mobilization."
-Hagen Koo, University of Hawai'i
"."A pioneering work on contemporary Korean history, Building Ships, Building a Nation will occupy a central place in the emerging literature of the post-war period.... Nam gives voice and agency to a segment of society and a period of time that were relegated to silence for many years, and in the process profoundly alters our understanding of South Korean state and society."
"Overall, the account is a reminder that economics that fail to capture cultural and historical, and even emotional, context is rather senseless....His comments on labour in Korea bring to life the decades of labour-capital tensions that were, and still are, the backdrop for Korea's economic miracle."
-International Journal of Maritime History
"Apart from presenting a case study of a union and its members with microhistorical depth, Building Ships, Building a Nation fills a lacuna of knowledge on workers in the twentieth century, serving as an indispensable contribution to scholarship on labor relations in contemporary Korea and East Asia."
-Journal of Asian Studies
"This wonderful book restores a buried history of union activism in the Korea Shipbuilding and Engineering Corporation (KSEC) . . . and situates it in the larger context of militant and democratic labor movements in Korean society since the colonial period. . . . It is a welcome addition to the body of critical studies on modern and contemporary Korea that convey nuanced analyses of Korea's social history."
-American Historical Review
"Focuses on the mostly male heavy industry workers at the shipyard and on historical and sociopolitical sources of their militancy."
-Journal of Economic Literature