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Nation Building in South Korea


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About the Author

Gregg Brazinsky is assistant professor of history at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.


A major contribution to the study of a crucial period of South Korean development. . . . A particularly important and timely book, as it not only details the close US-South Korean co-operation and the extent of US assistance in this period, but it also underscores the difficulties that external assistance faces in the process of nation-building.--International History Review

Brazinsky is at his best, providing engrossing details that add up to a visceral recreation of the South Korean experience. . . . A valuable contribution." --East Asian Science, Technology, and Society

Brazinsky, more than anyone else, has provided systematic, in-depth empirical evidence drawn from both the U.S. and South Korea to illustrate the subtle and changing dynamics of the U.S.-South Korean patron-client relationship. . . . Brazinsky's work will surely be read profitably by all those interested in modern economic development, democratization, and nation-building. Students of U.S. foreign relations will also profit from this in-depth case study of U.S. foreign policy, whereby U.S. intervention has actually led to what is, overall, a successful nation-building exercise.--American Historical Review

[One of] the most interesting books about South Korea. . . . For those who wonder how Korea came to be so heavily influenced by the U.S., historian Gregg Brazinsky has some answers. The author presents South Korea as a successful example of American nation building during the Cold War.--Wall Street Journal

Even as successive U.S. political administrations prioritized security in [their] high-level dealings with South Korea, other U.S. agencies and organizations helped to build a more diverse and protodemocratic society from below. . . . Illuminates this complex dynamic in U.S.-South Korean relations.--Korean Quarterly

A fine example of the new international history. . . . An excellent analysis of a bilateral relationship.--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Offers a complex and compelling narrative of the multilateral social, cultural and political connections between Americans and South Koreans during South Korea's formative years.--Pacific Affairs

A refreshing, insightful look at nation building via South Korea. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice

Brazinsky's fluency in the Korean language and tremendous research efforts allow him to present the voices of the people of the South and the formative role they played in their own evolution in more depth and sophistication that those who have written before him. . . . International history at its very best.--Journal of American History

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