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Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine

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ISBN-13: 978-0312240172
ISBN-10: 0312240171
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Editorial Reviews


“As Don Kirk details, Kim [Dae Jung's presidency was a tragic disappointment. . . Korea Betrayed helps us better understand the manifold gifts and flaws of this extraordinary statesman.” —The Washington Times

“The late Kim Dae Jung--the remarkable political dissident who rose to be President of South Korea and to win the Nobel Prize for Peace--is revered internationally, but his reputation in his native South Korea is much more controversial and contested. In this critical biography, Donald Kirk--a journalistic eminence who has been covering Korea for more than 30 years--helps us understand why this could be so. In his fascinating book, Kirk not only traces Kim Dae Jung's great political rise, but also details the moral and financial corruption that came to engulf, and permanently tarnish, the ‘DJ’ Presidency.  Korea Betrayed will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every student of modern Korea. Kirk's account of the failure of DJ's ‘Sunshine Policy’ toward North Korea, furthermore, should be ‘must reading’ for all American policymakers before they prepare to deal with Pyongyang.” —Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, The American Enterprise Institute

“Donald Kirk's Korea Betrayed is a comprehensive yet cogently written look at one of the most important figures in the past hundred years of Korean history. Brilliantly researched and equally well written, Kirk's newest book could not come at a more important time.  Kirk's book reminds American and South Korean policy makers why decisions made in the past are so relevant for foreign affairs today--as Washington, Pyongyang, and Seoul are at a crossroads in foreign relations that will affect the security of Northeast Asia for many years to come.” —Bruce E. Bechtol  Jr., Professor of International Relations, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and author of Red Rogue: The Persistent Challenge of North Korea

About the Author

Donald Kirk, journalist and author, has covered Korea for American newspapers and magazines beginning with assignments there as Far East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in the early 1970s. Since then he’s reported from Korea for The Observer of London and USA Today and served as Seoul correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Christian Science Monitor, CBS Radio and the Asia Times. He is the author of two books on Korean economic issues, Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung and Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era as well as books on his years as a war correspondent in Vietnam and a Fulbright research scholar in the Philippines. He currently travels to Korea and elsewhere from his home base in Washington, D.C

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (December 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312240171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312240172
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #987,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donald Kirk, from Washington, D.C., travels to South Korea, with stops in London, the middle east, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, among other places, writing on the confrontation of forces in the post-9/​11 era.

From 1997 through 2003, Don was Seoul correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, also filing for The New York Times and CBS, covering nuclear and economic crises. In addition, he has written articles for such diverse magazines as Institutional Investor, Far Eastern Economic Review, The New Leader, Future Korea Journal, National Review, Kyoto Journal and Hemispheres and commentaries for newspapers ranging from The Wall Street Journal Asia and South China Morning Post in Hong Kong to the Los Angeles Times, Providence Journal, Washington Examiner and Newsday.

Don first visited Seoul in 1972 as Far East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and has covered major events in Korea from the assassination of President Park Chung Hee in 1979 and the Kwangju revolt in 1980 to every presidential election since adoption of the "democracy constitution" in 1987.

From 1988 to 1994, he focused on economics and labor, writing Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung, a critical study of Hyundai, Korea's largest chaebol, and its founder. Again in Seoul, he wrote Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era, published in 2000, and, most recently, Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine, a critical biography of the former South Korean president who passed away in August 2009.

He continues to write commentaries and file for CBS and The Christian Science Monitor. The University of Maryland University College in 2004 awarded him an honorary doctorate as "one of the United States' most knowledgeable observers and commentators on Asia."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Louis Dechert on July 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
US veterans who have served in the Republic of Korea, and particularly those who served in the hot war, 1950-53, can and do take great pride in Korea today. We do so based on our own personal impressions even though usually somewhat ignorant of the history of modern Korea dating from the Japanese seizure and occupation prior to World War II.

At the time of this review we are hearing up-to-the-minute "breaking news" of revolutions in Africa and the Middle East, the continued threats and rumblings from North Korea (the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea-DPRK, "NK" to most GI's), as well as geopolitical analyses of China's expanded strength from Beijing in all directions, even to Wall Street, USA.

Governments were not created by divine processes--they have been started by diverse peoples in widely differing circumstances, reflecting cultural, military, political, economic, and religious traditions; nation building is a fact whatever name it goes by.

The Republic of Korea is an excellent example of nation building/development. I have written of the role of the ROK armed forces, and their allies in that effort (July 2009, Korea's Growth Seen from Abroad: Successful Nation Building). However, today's ROK is extremely difficult to casually understand, politically--a pervasive national political system which had its roots in the national struggles which began after WW II concluded and really does not appear to have progressed as far politically as it has economically and militarily.

To understand and thus cope with governmental unrest and revolution in any nation , one must first understand their roots, "how we got where we are," from whence the problems developed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bookbug on February 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a pretty good analysis of a typical male egomaniac who fooled the Korean public for decades, and then, as the title says, betrayed them. as the first president ever from the much maligned Chollado region, he should have striven to become a model president in order to elevate the status of those people and to give hope to the future possibility of other presidents from the region. His betrayal, i fear, has completely doused that hope.
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Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine
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