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Euny Hong is a journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal Europe, among others. Now living in New York, she grew up in Gangnam, Seoul.
How did a really unhip country suddenly become cool? How could a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men and rock 'n' roll come to mass produce pop music and a K-pop star that would break the world record for the most YouTube hits? Who would have predicted that a South Korean company that used to sell fish and fruit (Samsung) would one day give Apple a run for its money? And just how does South Korea plan to use pop culture to beat America at its own game. Welcome to South Korea: The Brand. In The Birth of Korean Cool journalist Euny Hong uncovers the roots of the 'Korean Wave': a fanaticism for South Korean pop culture that has enabled them to make the rest of the world a captive market for their products by first becoming the world's number one pop culture manufacturer. South Korea's economic development has been nothing short of staggering - leapfrogging from third-world to first-world in just a few years and continuing to grow at a rapid and unprecedented rate - and for the first time The Birth of Korean Cool will give readers exclusive insight into the inner workings of this extraordinary country; it's past, present and future.