Traditional Village Markets in Korea
Text and photography by Juoung Yong-sin; Noonbit Publishing; 480 p
While they may not be the first choice for shoppers in this day and age, traditional markets offer a unique look at the culture, history and life of Koreans. Photographer and novelist Juoung Yong-sin has toured traditional markets around the country for the past 25 years.
He has put together 430 photos in this book, adding stories of his experiences at 82 famous markets. There are some 1,500 traditional markets nationwide. The number keeps dwindling as more traditional markets close due to the overwhelming expansion of discount chains and department stores.
The photos are categorized per nine provinces. The author also gives information about the regional specialties to be found in the markets. A photo exhibition of the author’s works is underway at the Dukwon Gallery in Insa-dong.
— DO JE-HAE
Walter Lippmann; Translated from English to Korean by Lee Choong-hoon; Kachi Publishing: 409 pp., 20,000 won
This classic was written by Walter Lippmann, who co-founded The New Republic with Herbert Croly and Walter Weyl. Lippmann is considered one of the greatest journalists and social critics in American history.
His seminal work “Public Opinion” presents an incisive examination of democratic theory, the role of citizens in democracy and the impact of media in shaping thoughts and actions. In this book, the author is critical of any model of democracy that places excessive faith and power in the hands of the public. It consists of eight chapters, covering a wide range of topics including stereotypes and image making.
This book is recommended for people who wish to understand what those in power actually think of the public’s importance in a democracy (or democratic republic).
— RACHEL LEE
Musical A to Z
Han So-young; Soop Publishing: 294 pp., 18,000 won
“Musical A to Z” deals with the production process of a musical from scratch and gives insight to those who are curious about how a musical is staged.
Author Han So-young worked as a production coordinator for the Korean production of “The Phantom of the Opera” in 2001 and joined CJ E&M’s performing arts part, where she planned and promoted musicals such as “Cats,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Finding Kim Jong-wook.”
The book starts with a definition and brief history of musical theater. Han shares her extensive experience in theater from developing the synopsis and treatment and attracting investors to marketing and rehearsing once the show goes into production.
Han also interviewed professional crews from various fields to allow a glimpse of what they do. The list of interviewees are producer Seol Do-yoon of Seol & Company, writer Chang You-jeong, director Yun Ho-jin, choreographer Lee Ran-young, music director Kim Moon-jung, set designer Park Dong-woo, lighting designer Min Kyung-soo and sound designer Kim Ki-young. Anyone interested in the industry will find it worthwhile reading.
— KWON MEE-YOO
Isaiah Berlin: A Life
Michael Ignatieff; Translated from English to Korean by the Translation and Interpretation Institute at Ewha Womans University: 536 pp., 20,000 won
The life of Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) is described as the “symbol of a free man” in the critical biography “Isaiah Berlin: A Life” by Canadian author Michael Ignatieff.
A philosopher and historian of ideas, Berlin was born into a Jewish family in the Latvian capital of Riga. His family later moved to St. Petersburg (the Petrograd) where he witnessed police exerting too much power during the Russian Revolution.
He then immigrated to England with his family at the age of 10 and studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and became a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where he was later appointed professor of social and political theory. He served as the first president of Wolfson College, Oxford, and as president of the British Academy.
This book depicts a very detailed and realistic life story of the philosopher — telling readers about his important accomplishments and achievements throughout his life as a writer.
The author describes him as a man with a free spirit, generous, honest and possessing moral clarity. It also conveys key messages on how to defend a country against enemies of liberalism and protect the principles of liberalism.