Book Review Korea

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I confess that before reading the book Korea: The Impossible Country (and taking classes in college), I did not know much about South Korea or North Korea. The focus of this book is on South Korea but as both Koreas are historically intertwined, North Korea is also many times cited or referred to in the pages of this work. Korea: The Impossible Country, written by the journalist and writer Daniel Tudor and published by Tuttle Publisher - Tokyo, is a book acclaimed by the international press. The author is a correspondent for the Economist in Korea. He is also a regular contributor to Newsweek Korea and other publications. Tudor has gained a solid educational background in the Oxford and Manchester Universities. With all these…show more content…
Parents spend real fortunes investing in their children's education in order to improve their fluency in English (and in other subjects). Many families spend a third of their income with private lessons, textbooks, standardized tests (such as TOEFL) and international interchange programs. The author concludes that the "costs outweigh the benefits" as there is an unhealthy lack of balance between studies and social/parental pressure with sleeping hours and leisure. In the penultimate part of the book, the author offers a glimpse of what Koreans do when they are not working. He talks about how the hanok, the classical Korean home, was replaced by uniform apartment buildings with no sense of aesthetics in larger cities to accommodate the waves of people moving to urban areas in the past half-century. He points out that Korean opinion-makers are bringing back value in the historic and a new interest in the traditional hanok has come up. This elite is rediscovering the environmental advantages of the hanok, which is normally constructed of natural material. There's a growing demand in the construction of "modernized" hanoks, which matches the functionality of the giant apartment buildings with the
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