I have read quite a few books on Korea, especially modern Korean history, but I must say that this book helped more than anything else I've read up to now to understand or get an apreciation for who the South Koreans are and what it is they want. Michael Breen certainly knows what he's talking about (which makes a really nice change in this world of so many people writing on things they have no idea about). Michael Breen's writing style is also very easy, accessible and, on the whole, of a certain lazy eloquence. Moreover, the book is well researched, well structured and, in my view, constitutes a truly valuable tool for analysing and understanding modern South Korea and its people. Anyone planning a trip or extended stay in South Korea should pick up this book and plough through it in a few days prior to leaving. I give it a five out of five! If anyone knows how I can contact Mr Breen and convey to him my personal congratulations, please be sure to let me know. Thanks Simon Lacey
Gutted not to be the first to review this book - I was going for the gift cert!! Anyway, it's still worth commenting on. Breen is not only well up on the history and culture of the Koreans but he is also well in tune with them having lived amongst them for many years. It is apparent from his writing that he has a great affection for these people, although this does not prevent him from being objective and even critical. The book is packed with detail and should not be skimmed, it is helpfully indexed so that you can go back and refresh your memory about a particular subject after reading. As someone hoping to live and work in Korea in the future I found this insighful and invaluable reading and would recommend to anyone wanting to know more about what makes Koreans tick.