Richard D. Robinson’s Betrayal of a Nation and Mark Gayn’s “Korea” section in his Japan Diary are the most substantial, intense, and critically engaging descriptions of immediate post-liberation southern Korea written in English between 1945 and the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. Robinson’s academic essay and Gayn’s journalistic diary each combine razor-sharp political analysis with personal eyewitness observations, despite the difference in literary genre. Both examine the early Cold War politics of the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) and American support of right-wing Korean politicians. Both authors were attacked by McCarthy and his ilk. In today’s terms, Robinson would be considered a whistleblower. In order to avoid court-martial in Korea by the U.S. Army, he fled to Turkey where he bided his time for almost a decade, whereas Mark Gayn ultimately left the United States for Canada.
Three supplementary essays by the editors examine the lives of Robinson and Gayn during McCarthyism, the emergence of right-wing politicians and fascist youth groups, and America’s culpability in the establishment of South Korea’s first authoritarian regime.
The book is available in four formats:
paperback, hardcover, Kindle eBook, and PDF.