Song Seung-woo; Hwangso Books; 264 pp., 13,800 won
Many people seek money to become rich. But Socrates once said“don’t praise the rich who brag about their assets until you know how they use their money.” People are interested in how they get rich but not that much in how they spend it for the good of society.
This book introduces 10 wealthy Korean people living in the United States including Matthew Lee, Chris Nam and Ryu Eun-ju and reveals how they succeeded, accumulated their fortunes and spent them.
For example, Nam went to the U.S. with only $300 as a first generation immigrant and now serves as CEO of Newstar Realty & Inv. with more than 3 trillion won ($2.5 billion) in profits every year. Also, Ryu, an executive director of Pfizer in the U.S., reveals her secret of success through the preparation of a presentation for two weeks. Surprisingly, she began studying English after she turned 30 years of age.
The author calls them “the good rich” as they practice “noblesse oblige” through donations and charities but some refuse to reveal the details of their good deeds in the book.
The writer says that the book can help change the perception toward the rich positively and give an opportunity to respect them.
Simon S.C. Tay; Wiley: 206 pp., $24.95
The book focuses on the changing relationship between America and Asia following the global economic crisis from the late 2008 to the end of 2009.
The author notes that the dangerous trends resulting from the current economic crisis have rapidly brought changes in the relationship between the two regions. The two faced the crisis together and their economies were interdependent. But the relationship is altering as the two may end up more divided than united.
The United States is seemingly facing a relative decline in its powers, and its political will to engage with Asia and its influence seems also to be weakening. Meanwhile, Asia is rising and developing a stronger sense of regionalism and becoming more ready to take its own path.
The future might be basically different from the past but the author says that leaders, policy-makers, companies and citizens should seek a new balance as the geopolitics of Asia will play a growing role in global affairs in the coming years for Asians and Americans in the post-crisis world. Ultimately, they should avoid division for the benefit of both.
Siddhartha’s Dream Changes the World
Baek Seung-gwon; Bulgwang Publications: 160 pp., 12,000 won
The extraordinary life and lessons of Siddhartha, born a prince and later became the Supreme Buddha who founded Buddhism, is easily accessible in the story book ``Siddhartha’s Dream Changes the World.’’
Written by children’s author Baek Seung-gwon, the book gives an overview of the complete lifespan of the spiritual figure, from his birth in Lumbini, India to his upbringing as a prince and his realization of life and other beings.
``Buddha is not a god. He was born from parents, studied, married and also had a son. He was not much different from us. But why is he still revered to this day?’’ the writer asks in the preface.
The book explains that the difference between Buddha and the reader is that he had a dream. Not a dream for himself, but for all living things, and he had to give up his royal title and wealth to fulfill his dream and share it with the world.
The author has written a useful guide for both children and adults who are curious about the religious leader who inspired the world.
Why Do Children Follow Strangers?
Creators of EBS’ Docu Prime “Science of the Mystery Behind Crimes Against Children”;296 pp., 12,500 won
This is a most timely publication considering the recent media spotlight on and public interest in notorious crimes against children in Korea.
Children come across all sorts of people every day and parents usually teach them to be wary of strangers, to not speak to them, let alone follow them. Statistics show that each year the number of victims below the age of 13 is on the rise.
The EBS television program Docu Prime has delved into the matter beginning with the children themselves ― to view the world through their eyes by understanding the psychology that propels their actions which includes occasionally following strangers.
The book presents and examines various viewpoints and comprehensive details for the ultimate purpose of prescribing preventive measures ― effectively teaching kids how to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
First it is important to understand that for naïve youngsters, everyone around them is in a way a stranger. It is also necessary to discern different personality types among children to find a suitable and effective teaching method.