Reflections on Contemporary Korea
David I. Steinberg

The transformation of the Republic of Korea from an impoverished state to a leading industrialized nation has been spectacular, but it has also masked the continuities of Korean society and culture. For more than four decades, David I. Steinberg has been observing Korea, and is uniquely qualified to write on the evolution of modern Korea. As the resident representative of The Asia Foundation in 1963-68 and then again in 1994-98, he has been a participant in and close observer of the Korean scene.
His trenchant comments on a broad spectrum of Korean life and mores illuminate many aspects of Korean society most often ignored in both the academic and popular literature. The short essays selected for this volume come from the over 230 columns he has published in the Korea Times since 1995. They present a series of vignettes on the cultural, socioeconomic, and political life of Korea today.
Trained first in Chinese studies and then in Southeast Asian history, Steinberg has lived in a variety of Asian countries over the past 17 years. He brings to this book a comparative focus that provides deeper perspective on Korean affairs. Because he personally experienced Korea at both an early stage of its growth and a much later period, he is able to report changes in the society in a manner that few other foreigners have been able to do.

Korean Mores and Customs - (31 columns, with “On Harvest Festivals and Chusok”and “On ‘Roasts’ and ‘Face’”).
Ceremonies and Traditions - (8 columns, with “On ‘Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Car’” and “On the Seriousness of Humor”).
Food and Hospitality - (7 columns, with “On Food and Reciprocity” and “On Eating and Globalization”).
Landscapes and Aesthetic - (11 columns, with “On Pyeo-Rice” and “On Sex and the Color of Nature”).
Education, Language, Media - (13 columns, with “On Elites and Universities” and “On Academics as a Contact Sport”).
Politics - (16 columns, with “On Hard and Soft Power” and “On Gregory Henderson — An Appreciation”).
Korean-American Relations - (10 columns, with “On Negotiating” and “On ‘Rogue’ and Other States of Concern” ).
North Korea - (3 columns, with “On North Korean Tourism and the Environment”).
International Relations - (5 columns, with “On Korea and Japanese Influence” and “On Nationalism and the IMF”).
Epilogue - (4 columns, with “On the Usefulness of Foreigners” and “On Korea in the 21st Century: Recommendations for the Future”)

David I. Steinberg, Director of Asian Studies and previously Distinguished Professor of Korean Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, was formerly a member of the Senior Foreign Service, USAID, Department of State; President of the Mansfield Center of Pacific Affairs; and the representative of The Asia Foundation in Korea, as well as Burma, Hong Kong, and Washington. He was educated at Dartmouth College, Lingnan University (China), Harvard University, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

EastBridge Signature Books 2002 298 pages

ISBN 1-891936-12-3 (pb) $29.95
ISBN 1-891936-20-4 (hb) $49.95