Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Birth of Korean Cool

The Birth of Korean Cool

How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture

Euny Hong

Picador

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A FRESH, FUNNY, UP-CLOSE LOOK AT HOW SOUTH KOREA REMADE ITSELF AS THE WORLD'S POP CULTURE POWERHOUSE OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

By now, everyone in the world knows the song "Gangnam Style" and Psy, an instantly recognizable star. But the song's international popularity is no passing fad. "Gangnam Style" is only one tool in South Korea's extraordinarily elaborate and effective strategy to become a major world superpower by first becoming the world's number one pop culture exporter.

As a child, Euny Hong moved from America to the Gangnam neighbourhood in Seoul. She was a witness to the most accelerated part of South Korea's economic development, during which time it leapfrogged from third-world military dictatorship to first-world liberal democracy on the cutting edge of global technology.

Euny Hong recounts how South Korea vaulted itself into the twenty-first century, becoming a global leader in business, technology, education, and pop culture. Featuring lively, in-depth reporting and numerous interviews with Koreans working in all areas of government and society, The Birth of Korean Cool reveals how a really uncool country became cool, and how a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men, and rock ‘n' roll could come to mass produce boy bands, soap operas, and the world's most important smart phone.

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BEFORE COOL



When my family moved to Korea, in 1985, it was still a developing country. The only mitigating factor was that we would be living not just in Gangnam but in the Apgujeong neighborhood—the most elite...

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About the author

Euny Hong

Euny Hong is a journalist and author with international experience in web, print, and television news. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal Europe, International Herald Tribune, New Republic, Boston Globe, and The Forward. She is the author of one previous book, the novel Kept: A Comedy of Sex and Manners. She is fluent in English, French, German, and Korean.

Euny Hong

Joshua Schwimmer

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