Filmed May 26, 2011
Harvard University Professor Ezra Vogel visits The Korea Society to discuss the monumental new political history he co-edited, The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea. South Korea was mired in poverty in 1959, yet by 1979 was gaining significant economic influence both regionally and globally. Park is credited with modernizing South Korea, but at a huge political and social cost. The state was predatory yet technocratic, reform-minded, yet quick to crack down on dissidents in the name of political order. The chaebol received massive government support to pioneer new growth industries, even as a nationwide campaign of economic shock therapy—interest hikes, devaluation, and wage cuts—met strong public resistance and caused considerable hardship. UC San Diego’s Stephan Haggard describes the work as “remarkable...[it] will establish itself as the most significant work on the Park period.”
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