Kallander authors book on 17th century Qing Manchu invasion of Korea
A new book by historian George Kallander
provides a translation of the only first-person account of Korea’s resistance
to a key Manchu invasion in the 17th century. The book, titled The Diary of 1636: The Second Manchu
Invasion of Korea, is published this month by Columbia University Press.
Kallander translated and provides analysis of
a diary written by Korean scholar-official Na Man’gap, who witnessed the battle
and its aftermath. The 1636-37 Manchu invasion of Korea – the second over the
course of a decade – was a consequential chapter in an ongoing three-way
political rivalry in the early 17th century among Korea’s Chosŏn dynasty, the
Ming in China, and the rising Manchu in northeast Asia. The Manchu’s successful
invasion forced Korea to realign with the new Manchu Qing dynasty, altering the
balance of power in the region. Kallander’s translation – the first ever of
this work into English from classical Chinese, the script of the educated elite
in premodern Korea — includes, for example, Na’s reports of military
campaigns, political and military decision making at the court, the capture of
the Korean royal family, and the treatment of prisoners of war, as well as
important observations about the war’s political, social, and cultural aftermath. Kallander’s
lengthy introduction and extensive annotations place Na’s diary in a
historical, political, and military context.
associate professor of history, is director of the East Asia Program, hosted by
Maxwell’s Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. He is also the author of Salvation Through Dissent: Tonghak Heterodoxy
and Early Modern Korea, published in 2013 by the University of Hawai’i
Press. He is a
co-editor of the Cambridge History of Korea project’s volume on the Chosŏn
Dynasty (1392-1910), to which he also contributed a chapter on the Tonghak
religion and dissent. He has received major fellowships from the Institute for
Advanced Study, Columbia University, and the Academy of Korean Studies — the
last of which contributed to the completion of The Diary of 1636.
You can find more about Kallander’s book at this Columbia
University Press webpage.