Although I have not read the entire series, I have heard from those who have read the whole series who tell me that the earlier volumes (written years before the three volumes on America) are much more scholarly and well-researched, as well as being based on the author's vast personal experience in the countries in question. I have seen volume 11, about U.S. history, and I can't say I found anything wrong with it. volume 12 is about American Presidents and I can't imagine it would differ much from any such book. Thus as far as I am concerned the problem lies only in volume 10.
Within volume 10 itself, the first 4 chapters of 8 are general history, with very little of the author's opinion injected. I find no fault with them. Chapter 5 is about immigration, and contains the cartoon about "white trash" that made its way around the internet. Although this chapter presents a generally negative view of immigrant nations, I can't find any huge fault with it. Chapter 6 is about the dark side of America, and my major fault with it is that it presents American workers as groveling and desperate, frequently using the imagery of a worker prostrate before his stern-faced boss begging not to be fired. Chapter 7, about credit, which I am currently in the process of translating, is a bit factually wrong in that it describes credit and the rule of law as a sort of desperate measure that immigrant nations resort to in order to force disparate ethnic and racial elements to live together in harmony. This is repeatedly presented as inferior to the supposed harmony that mono-ethnic societies like Japan and Korea enjoy. This is also the chapter in which the picture of the black girl saying that she and her baby would starve to death without welfare appears. But it is chapter 8 that has rightly garnered international attention as a piece of classic Jewish conspiracy theory.
So one chapter of one book in a series of twelve is absolutely intolerable. What's the big deal? The big deal is that by the time the reader has gotten through the first 9 books and the previous 7 chapters he or she is fully convinced of Professor Rhie's erudition and authority and ready to accept everything he has to say without question. Isn't that much worse than a patently false, easily dismissed work of junk propaganda?
According to a new AP article
More than 10 million copies from the 12-book series titled "Meon Nara, Yiwoot Nara," or "Far Countries, Near Countries," have been sold since it was first published in 1987, according to its publisher, Gimm-Young Publishers Inc. The company boasts that at least one volume is in every South Korean home in this country of 48 million people.
Straight from the horse's mouth. The 12 million figure I was quoting came from a Korean news article earlier this month.