Korean History Books – 9 Amazing Books Not Many Knows!
Korea has a long and complicated history full of rich details and incredible stories. If you’re interested in learning more about Korea’s past, these list of Korean History Books will take you on a journey through the country’s fascinating culture and heritage.
From ancient times to the present day, Korea has always been a land of great intrigue.
For centuries, its people have faced challenges and overcome adversity, developing a unique and resilient culture in the process.
The books on this list offer an in-depth look at various aspects of Korean history, providing readers with a thorough understanding of the country’s rich tapestry.
Whether you’re interested in Korea’s ancient kingdoms or its more recent history, these books are sure to give you a new perspective on the country and its people.
So, if you’re ready to explore the many facets of Korean history, read on to know the list of the best Korean History Books you can read today.
Table of Contents
History of Korea
Korea has a long and rich history dating back thousands of years. It is a history that is often overshadowed by the histories of its larger neighbors, China and Japan.
But Korea has its own unique culture and story to tell.
The earliest recorded history of Korea begin during the Three Kingdoms rule – Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla.
These kingdoms fought each other for control of the peninsula, with Silla eventually emerging victorious in 668 AD.
The Unified Silla Kingdom then ruled over Korea for nearly 300 years, until it was toppled by a rebellion in 918 AD.
The subsequent Goryeo Dynasty ruled over Korea for almost 500 years, from 918 to 1392.
The Joseon Dynasty followed the Goryeo Dynasty, ruling from 1392 to 1910. This was a period of great cultural achievements, including the invention Hangul by King Sejong the Great.
However, Joseon also saw many bitter wars with its neighbors, including invasions by Japan in 1592 and 1600.
In 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan and remained under Japanese rule until 1945.
This was a difficult time for Koreans, as they were forced to worship at Japanese shrines, adopt Japanese-style names and they also took away their freedom of speech, assembly, and press.
After Japan surrender and ends the World War II saga, Korea was liberated.
However, it immediately fell under the rule of the Soviet Union and the United States which led to the separation between the North and South Korea.
Best Korean History Books
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about Korean history, here must-read books that will transport you through time and immerse you in the wonders of Korean history.
1. The Korean War: A History Books
Credit to Amazon
This book is a definitive history of the Korean War, often called the Forgotten War.
It is essential reading for understanding the conflict and its legacies.
2. The Great Successor
This book provides insight into the life of North Korea’s current leader, Kim Jong-un.
It covers various topics, such as Kim Jong-un’s childhood, rise to power, and relationship with the United States.
3. South Korea History - Origin of The Korean Nation
This book is a concise history of South Korea that covers various topics, such as South Korean politics, culture, and society.
It provides a clear and organized narrative of South Korean history.
4. Korea: The Impossible Country
This book provides an inside look at South Korea’s rise from the ashes of war to become a global economic powerhouse.
It covers various topics like politics and Korea culture.
5. Korea Old and New
This book provides a balanced look at modern Korean history from the fall of the Joseon dynasty to the present day.
It examines how Koreans have adapted to rapid change throughout their long history.
6. Anthology of Traditional Korean Literature
This book is a collection of traditional Korean literature that provides insight into Korean culture and history.
The stories cover various topics, such as religion, folklore, and mythology, and span from the 7th century to the 19th century.
7. Letters From Korean History Books
This book is a collection of primary sources that provide insight into Korean history.
The letters cover various topics, such as politics, culture, and society, and span from the 15th century to the 20th century.
8. Korea Between Empires
This book provides a detailed look at Korea during the late Joseon period, when it had to balance between powerful empires.
It is an important account of a pivotal moment in Korean history.
9. The Park Chung Hee Era
This harrowing account details Park Chung-hee’s brutal dictatorship in South Korea from 1961 to 1979. It is an essential read if you want to understand the modern Korean history.
Someone said ‘history repeat itself“, thus it is necessary for us to look back at the past to know our future, or at least so we can avoid doing the same mistake our forefathers did.
I am certain that you will find what you need among these titles in order to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for one of the oldest cultures in East Asia.
I hope that this Korean History books list open your eyes to the vast and rich tapestry of Korean history.
Reading these books can also help foster your curiosity about Korea’s fascinating culture and further enlighten all aspects of its colourful past.
Have you ever read one of these Korean History Books? Let me know in the comment sections below!
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