After reading the first few pages of this text, the reader may be left wondering "exactly what is this book attempting to accomplish?" At first glance, it looks like a college textbook. And indeed, Chapter 1 (Overview of Local Government in Korea) very much reads this way. After an introductory section in Chapter 2 (Structure of Local Government), however, the form of the book takes a dramatic turn. The Preface opens with a statement of the two purposes of the book, "first, to provide factual information about Korean local politics for those who are interested in Korea's system of local govemment; and second, to offer definitive reference resources to foreign scholars, students, practitioners, diplomats, and others who have an interest in the evolution of Korean democracy." Referring back to the Table of Contents after reading further in Chapter 2, one realizes that this is more of a "book of facts" than an analytical treatise. In this regard, the book is a solid success: it provides detailed facts about the legal structure of Korea's system of local govemment. It discusses the evolution and effect of Korea's Local Autonomy Act (and relevant decrees), and a translation of the lengthy Local Autonomy Act is included in an appendix. Clearly, the book is a useful reference on the law of local autonomy for those of us less than fluent in Korean. On the other hand, politics and democracy are hardly discussed beyond a few rhetorical platitudes in the first and last chapters.