The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture
By Euny Hong
Picador, 2014. 267 pgs. Nonfiction.
Going from a third-world to first-world country in a matter of a few short decades is no simple task, but South Korea managed it, and is now becoming one of the world’s top exporters of pop culture. Euny Hong describes her experience of moving to Korea when she was twelve in the 1980s and how she’s seen the country go from very un-cool, to ultra-cool in that time.
In the last couple years I’ve become fascinated by Korean culture and entertainment, so this book was something I had to pick up. It didn’t disappoint. I learned a lot about Korean culture that my k-drama watching and vlogger stalking hadn’t yet covered. As much as I loved Korea before, now I’m also in awe of how quickly they turned their country into a pop culture powerhouse. Hallyu (the Korean Wave) is truly a force to be reckoned with.