Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation, published by the Republic of Korea
Five out of five stars
Much has been said about the rise of the People’s Republic of China from a poor country to a major economic power. A lot of additional ink has been used to describe the rise of Japan from the complete defeat in World War II to one of the top five nations in terms of national GDP. Often lost in this is the incredible story of South Korea, completely devastated by war in 1950-1953, the nation rose to the status of a major economic power. South Korea now ranks at roughly eleventh place in terms of national GDP.
This book is a history of this, but it is more a tribute to the American blood and treasure that went into the stalemate form of victory won in the war from 1950-53. With Korea still split into north and south sections with completely different political and economic systems, it is an existence proof of the failure of communism.
The story is told in a small amount of text injected into a collection of images. There are scenes from the devastating war and then there are images from the modern nation with an emphasis on the urban areas. It closes with tributes to the men and women that fought in the war to defeat the north, one fact not often emphasized is that men from many different nations fought and died in Korea under the United Nations mandate.
The Korean War should be labeled as what it is, the conflict where communism was checked and thereby defeated. For it is a political system that must be everywhere, or it will only exist in spots. Any attempt to impose it can be easily countered by the simple statement, “Look at the two Koreas.” This book demonstrates that fact.