The Korean Presidents: Leadership for Nation Building


Choong Nam Kim


Norwalk, Connecticut: EastBridge

Available From: EastBridge
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 1-59988-003-2
Binding: paper
Pages: 439


This volume is the only global analysis of each individual Korean President and his Presidency as well as the only current assessment of the success of the institution of the Korean Presidency as a positive role model for emerging nations.

© EastBridge


"Dr. Choong Nam Kim has written an important and penetrating study of the Korean presidents from Syngman Rhee to Roh Moo Hyun in the context of their eras.

His analysis of their influence and leadership styles is required reading in the continuing reassessment of their respective roles in the remarkable changes and development of politics and economics in the Republic of Korea. This will no doubt be a controversial study in some circles, for it provides an alternative approach to some contemporary scholarship, but it will contribute both to the rise of sophisticated scholarly concern and popular interest in understanding the various roles of Korean presidents during critical periods in modern Korean history.

This volume is a highly relevant and singular contribution to the literature on the peregrinations of the Republic since its founding."

David I. Steinberg
Director, Asian Studies Program, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

"This book is a major step forward in the study of the presidency and leadership in general. Unlike authors who have written on the Korean presidency before, Dr. Kim is able to link the considerable economic and social development of South Korea over the past fifty years to the leadership provided by each Korean president. Neither praising nor vilifying them, he examines the lessons to be learned from their performance in office and how those lessons can be applied in modernizing third world countries. Dr. Kim provides the best analysis I have yet seen of the Korean 'miracle.' It places — front and center — the real achievements of this talented people who overcame enormous odds with their own model of leadership in the presidency. This is a first rate book that deserves a wide audience."

Roger Benjamin
President, Council for Aid to Education

"What sorts of goals did each of Korea's Presidents choose to pursue? Why did they choose those goals? How successful — or unsuccessful — were they in achieving them? Again, why? [No] previous study addresses these big and complex questions as comprehensively and systematically as Dr. Kim does in this book. Dr. Kim's study draws on his very unusual combination of intellectual understanding — as a political scientist — and existential experience — as a former presidential aide. As a result, his study provides a variety of new insights and perspectives as well as stories that have not been told before."

Doh C. Shin
University of Missouri