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'Seoul Man:' a look inside Korean car titan Hyundai




A man walks past a logo of Hyundai motor displayed in front of its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.
A man walks past a logo of Hyundai motor displayed in front of its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

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After an 18-year career at the Washington Post, newly-married journalist Frank Ahrens moved to South Korea his with his wife Rebekah.

A general view of the book cover of
A general view of the book cover of "Seoul Man: A Memoir of Cars, Culture, Crisis and Unexpected Hilarity Inside a Korean Corporate Titan" by Frank Ahrens.
Harper Collins

She was stationed there with the foreign service, and he found a job as a PR executive with car giant Hyundai. Never imagining he would live outside the US, working for one of Korea’s massive chaebol -- the conglomerates that helped fuel the country’s economic boom -- was equal parts confusing and gratifying for Ahrens.

In his new memoir “Seoul Man,” he outlines three simultaneous “midlife crises:” Hyundai’s, Korea’s, and his own. As the country moved away from an economy driven by a few conglomerates and Hyundai tried to remake its image, Ahrens experienced family life for the first time at 46.

On AirTalk, Larry Mantle interviews Ahrens about his time at Hyundai, getting the journalist’s take on the changes in the company and the country during his time in South Korea.

Guest:

Frank Ahrens, former Washington Post editor; he is the author of “Seoul Man” a memoir about his time working for Hyundai in South Korea