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Seven years have passed since the Korean economy was engulfed by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Arguably, the country is still not fully recovered from the catastrophe almost a decade later. In those intervening years, numerous books and papers have attempted to diagnose the origins of the extraordinarily sharp downturn in what was once a high-performing economy, known internationally as one of the four Asian Tigers. Some have traced the development of the crisis, or its effects, but none have yet offered a comprehensive view of the crisis that delineates each aspect of the event against the backdrop of Korea's full economic history, and most of those theories have failed even to demonstrate what actually happened, despite their claims to have done so.
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