Review by Choice Review
Hart-Landsberg (economics, Lewis & Clark College) examines the American involvement in Korea, challenging the official views that claim the US government has consistently upheld democracy in the region and that justify US military presence in the post-Cold War era. The author argues that the US is responsible for the Korean division and the current political situation in which the US government, in the interest of the military-industry complex, has deliberately maintained tension in the peninsula, thus preventing reunification. To prove his point, the author presents a comprehensive study of the history of Korean subjugation to foreign rule (including China and Japan) and examines US involvement in the Korean division, the Korean war, and military dictatorships in South Korea. Though perhaps too critical of US foreign policy toward Korea, Hart-Landsberg recognizes recent changes, such as the US commitment to help North Korea transform its nuclear energy program and to provide emergency food aid in 1994, which might signal fundamental change in the policy. He concludes that the US should help create an environment in which Koreans can freely and peacefully begin erasing the "imaginary line" and establish a democratic and independent Korea. Overall, this challenging and provocative work reveals the significant dark side of US foreign policy toward Korea. All levels. M. Itoh University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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