Some foreign historians of Korea are not pleased at the nationalist assertion of control over the presentation of Korean history in textbooks.

"“History is not supposed to teach pride - unless we are talking the nationalistic versions of history like the ones that dominated South Korea under the late President Park Chung Hee and still dominate North Korea,” Tikhonov said....

Cumings said the Lee Myung-bak administration is “acting like the Japanese, trying to paper over difficult issues while claiming to protect ‘national pride.’”"

This process of politicizing history is not unknown in the U.S., of course, but it tends to be a bit more subtle these days. Conflict tends to appear more often in museum exhibits (The Enola Gay exhibit comes to mind). I think perhaps the local control of textbook selection here makes the school districts so incredibly sensitive to the specific attitudes of locals that not too many controversies arise. The textbook manufacturers run off the same nationalist pap anyway, so why should there be any controversy in the books?

By the time the students go off and listen to their liberal/commie/radical/reactionary professors and read a bunch of radical stuff...well, studies have shown that it has absolutely no impact on students' outlook.

Except over evolution or something really really controversial like that--that whole question whether science should be taught directed by scientists or whether witchdoctors and conjurers and people speaking in tongues should determine the science curriculum is still alive, incredibly.


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