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.