In late October, I will have my first trip to Korea - a country I have heard of so much and yet know so little.
I'm now reading a Chinese textbook on Korean history for an overview - by Chien Chiang-tso from Taiwan - arguably the only Chinese-written history of Korea from pre-historic times to post-Second World War, available in Hong Kong.
However, the book is unexpectedly disappointing. It fails to provide beginners a comprehensible and insightful perspective to understand this long-time neighbour of China. Many key concepts and terminologies are not adequately explained. References to ancient information sources by Chinese and Korean historians are loosely associated with the author's viewpoints and brief accounts (though essentially not a bad thing), as if these are being included merely to show that the book is no fiction. Worse still, there is an incredible abundance of typos, which is not only annoying and confusing but also irritating to literate readers.
Perhaps checking out the informative English account on the official web site of KBS would have been a better alternative. Interestingly, KBS is one of the three broadcast corporations in Korea but it seems to be strongly committed to promoting Korean culture to non-Korean speaking people around the world.