[KS] New book announcement

Eugene Y. Park epa at sas.upenn.edu
Sun Mar 2 17:22:34 EST 2014

Dear all,

First of all, pardon my lack of modesty, announcing the publication of 
my own book rather than someone else announcing it for me. My book is:

     Eugene Y. Park, /A Family of No Prominence: The Descendants of Pak 
To(khwa and the Birth of Modern Korea/ (Stanford: Stanford University 
Press, 2014).

The publisher's blurb:

Koreans are known for their keen interest in genealogy and inherited 
ancestral status. Yet today's ordinary Korean would be hard pressed to 
explain the whereabouts of ancestors before the twentieth century. With 
/A Family of No Prominence/, Eugene Y. Park gives us a remarkable 
account of a nonelite family, that of Pak To(khwa and his descendants 
(which includes the author). Spanning the early modern and modern eras 
over three centuries (1590--1945), this narrative of one family of the 
/chungin/ class of people is a landmark achievement.

What we do know of the /chungin/, or "middle people," of Korea largely 
comes from profiles of wealthy, influential men, frequently cited as 
collaborators with Japanese imperialists, who went on to constitute the 
post-1945 South Korean elite. This book highlights many rank-and-file 
/chungin/ who, despite being better educated than most Koreans, 
struggled to survive. We follow Pak To(khwa's descendents as they make 
inroads into politics, business, and culture. Yet many members' refusal 
to link their family histories and surnames to royal forebears, as most 
other Koreans did, sets them apart, and facilitates for readers a 
meaningful discussion of identity, modernity, colonialism, memory, and 
historical agency.

For more information, visit the Stanford University Press link at: 

Gene Park

Eugene Y. Park
Korea Foundation Associate Professor
Director, James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies
University of Pennsylvania

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