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Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea Hardcover – October 2, 2006

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$34.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fascinating story of how Korea evolved over two millennia to become the economic and cultural powerhouse it is today."--Don Baker,  Centre for Korean Research, University of British Columbia
 
 
(Don Baker 20060110)

"Everlasting Flower represents a step forward in the historiography of modern Korea. . . . While it gives a good deal of attention to earlier periods, it establishes their relationship to the emergence of modern Korea in a clear and understandable way. The author has managed to maintain a consistent level of depth and detail from beginning to end, giving the text  a most valuable perspective. It succeeds as a history text for classroom use, as a general read for the armchair historian, and as a thoughtful review for the specialist."--Professor Donald N. Clark, Department of History, Trinity University
 
 
(Donald N. Clark 20060801)

"[A] full and fascinating study of Korean history."—John Gittings, The Guardian



 



 

(John Gittings The Guardian 20061027)

"Everlasting Flower is significant because for the first time there is a single book which surveys the whole cultural history of Korea. . . . Pratt brings a comparative perspective to his discussion of Korean history which gives the book a breadth often missing in other works. . . . The book is important because of its substantial discussion of cultural developments in North Korea since 1945, perhaps the best single source on the subject."—James H. Grayson, History
 
(James H. Grayson History 20070701)

"Pratt takes an avowedly cultural slant on Korean history . . . . This will make the book attractive not only to those with an interest Korean history but also to readers studying the art history of the region, as the author''s deep knowledge of Korean visual arts, literature, and particularly music shine through in many places. . . . His sensitive and balanced approach to nationalism, keeping one eye firmly on the present interpretations and significance of Korea''s history, means that the book will give readers much insight into how contemporary Koreans understand their past. . . . Pratt''s book is a very solidly researched, well-balanced, and enjoyable read peppered with glimpses of wit and personal observation. It will be a valuable introduction to Korean history for undergraduates, non-academics and more specialist readers alike--and one that will hopefully inspire further reading."--Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
 
(Owen Miller Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 20070601)

"A stimulating account of Korean history. . . . The book represents the observations of a person who has devoted much of his life to understanding Korean culture. Consequently, it has much to offer anyone interested in Korea, specialists as well as the general reader."
(Michael J. Seth Korean Studies )

About the Author

Keith Pratt is professor emeritus in the Department of East Asian Studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books and articles on Korea, including Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (October 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186189273X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861892737
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,005,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Thomas O. Morrison on January 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful Resource on Korean History

I had been looking for a good history book on Korea that could give an overview of Korea's history and culture without being overly dry and especially without being overly nationalistic. This is the book that I had been looking for and that I wish I could have read before going to live in Korea for a few years.

The book is very well organized and each chapter gives a small paragraph "abstract" on the forthcoming chapter. Interspersed within the text are various "pictorial essays" which at first I feared would be irrelevant and distracting. Instead they are absolutely fascinating and really complement the text. The author uses them, as well as many other references to present Korea not just from a historical list of happenenings but also from the impact of music, cultual diffucion, and other issues that impacted the people, and therefore the history. This is in addition to his easy-to-read style of writing that doesn't bog down with pseudo-intellectualism... it reads quick and clean and is very interesting without being dry.

Being a fairly small overview, he does cover some material, especially modern topics, in a good general way without a lot of depth or time. A glance though the rear of the book gives up his sources and a way to get further depth though.

Being a very handy size, this book can be tucked away for travel quite easily for anyone going to Korea for fun, work or martial arts. I'd highly recommend this book for Global Studies/World History teachers, Korean style martial arts enthusiasts, travellers to East Asia and anyone interested in Korea. Excellent reference book!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By College Kid on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very well written but it is a bad place for beginners to start. The author clearly expects the reader to have a working knowledge of East Asian history and culture. This was my first book on East Asian history and I was frequently confused by the many vague references to Chinese and Japanese history. I had to get online and look up about 20 different people or events in Japan or China that were used by the author, but were not explained at all. Every facet of Korea is 'similar to' something from China or Japan that I've never heard of. Korean art, for example, is described by saying 'Like Chinese art, except for these three little differing details.' For someone who hasn't studied Chinese art, this is not very illuminating. Now the ONLY thing I know about Korean art is those three little details. It would have been great if I had studied Japan and China and just wanted to know how Korea fit in with the rest of Eastern Asia, but this book is not for East Asian beginners.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on November 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'd bought this book just before a trip to Korea this autumn.

The good piont is that it gives you a good idea of Korea's fascinating history from ancient times to presentday and if you're travelling to the country you will feel like you have a lot more context (if you visit any tourist sites, you'll notice that a lot of the explanations assume you already have this background)

The bad points are two: one is that the author seems rather defensive about the nastier bits of Korean history which I think is a bit patronizing at best and also takes away from the credibility. The other is that because it's trying to cover so much ground at times it feels like a big list rather than a coherent narrative, but that I guess is normal given the breadth to cover in just a couple hundred pages.
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Format: Hardcover
Pratt's work is a real pleasure to read. His depth of familiarity with Korea's history, arts, and intellectual life shows real love for the country and people. He's an impressively unbiased observer, representing all sides in the country's many ideological divisions like a guy who really knows how to listen. Pratt also shows serious appreciation for Korea's arts, from the design of traditional musical instruments to modern painting and film. The overall balance of the book is admirable, and made better by Pratt's admission that he has barely scratched the surface of this story.
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