Nothing to Envy

Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Author: Barbara Demick

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 0385529619

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 9840

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A National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle finalist, Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy is a remarkable view into North Korea, as seen through the lives of six ordinary citizens Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape most of us have never before seen, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, in which radio and television dials are welded to the one government station, and where displays of affection are punished; a police state where informants are rewarded and where an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. Demick takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors. Through meticulous and sensitive reporting, we see her six subjects—average North Korean citizens—fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we experience the moments when they realize that their government has betrayed them. Nothing to Envy is a groundbreaking addition to the literature of totalitarianism and an eye-opening look at a closed world that is of increasing global importance. From the Hardcover edition.

Nothing to Envy

Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Author: Barbara Demick

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780385523905

Category: History

Page: 314

View: 3505

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Follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years, a chaotic period that saw the rise to power of Kim Jong Il and the devastation of a famine that killed one-fifth of the population, illustrating what it means to live under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

The Cleanest Race

How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters

Author: B.R. Myers

Publisher: Melville House

ISBN: 1935554972

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 9606

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Understanding North Korea through its propaganda What do the North Koreans really believe? How do they see themselves and the world around them? Here B.R. Myers, a North Korea analyst and a contributing editor of The Atlantic, presents the first full-length study of the North Korean worldview. Drawing on extensive research into the regime’s domestic propaganda, including films, romance novels and other artifacts of the personality cult, Myers analyzes each of the country’s official myths in turn—from the notion of Koreans’ unique moral purity, to the myth of an America quaking in terror of “the Iron General.” In a concise but groundbreaking historical section, Myers also traces the origins of this official culture back to the Japanese fascist thought in which North Korea’s first ideologues were schooled. What emerges is a regime completely unlike the West’s perception of it. This is neither a bastion of Stalinism nor a Confucian patriarchy, but a paranoid nationalist, “military-first” state on the far right of the ideological spectrum. Since popular support for the North Korean regime now derives almost exclusively from pride in North Korean military might, Pyongyang can neither be cajoled nor bullied into giving up its nuclear program. The implications for US foreign policy—which has hitherto treated North Korea as the last outpost of the Cold War—are as obvious as they are troubling. With North Korea now calling for a “blood reckoning” with the “Yankee jackals,” Myers’s unprecedented analysis could not be more timely. From the Hardcover edition.

In Order to Live

A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

Author: Yeonmi Park,Maryanne Vollers

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698409361

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 4909

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“I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea.” Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape. Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country’s dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China. I wasn’t dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn’t even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die—from starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearable; I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since. Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life. By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, “I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest.” In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom. Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know—and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country. Park’s testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.

The Real North Korea

Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia

Author: Andrei Lankov

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199390037

Category: HISTORY

Page: 315

View: 2228

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After providing an accessible history of the nation, the author turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place, arguing that North Korea is not irrational, but rather a nation that has survived against all odds.

North of the DMZ

Essays on Daily Life in North Korea

Author: Andrei Lankov

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786451416

Category: Social Science

Page: 358

View: 5576

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"Book describes the difficult but determined existence that North Koreans have created for themselves in the face of oppression. The book introduces the political system and the extent to which it permeates citizens' daily lives; discusses the schools, the economic system, and family life; treats the changes that have taken place in North Korea over the last decade"--Provided by publisher.

The Hidden People of North Korea

Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom

Author: Ralph Hassig,Kongdan Oh

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442237198

Category: Political Science

Page: 252

View: 4004

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This unique book, now fully updated, provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of life in North Korea today. Drawing on decades of experience, noted experts Ralph Hassig and Kongdan Oh explore a world few outsiders can imagine. In vivid detail, the authors describe how the secretive and authoritarian government of Kim Jong-un shapes every aspect of its citizens' lives, how the command socialist economy has utterly failed, and how ordinary individuals struggle to survive through small-scale capitalism. Weighing the very limited individual rights allowed, the authors illustrate how the political class system and the legal system serve solely as tools of the regime. The key to understanding how the North Korean people live, the authors argue, is to realize that their only allowed role is to support Kim Jong-un, whose grandfather founded the country in the late 1940s. Still a cypher, Kim Jong-un, as did his father before him, controls his people by keeping them isolated and banning most foreigners. North Koreans remain hungry and oppressed, yet the outside world is slowly filtering in, and the book concludes by urging the United States to flood North Korea with information so that its people can make decisions based on truth rather than their dictator's ubiquitous propaganda.

Logavina Street

Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood

Author: Barbara Demick

Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.

ISBN: 0812982762

Category: History

Page: 232

View: 5007

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Chronicles the Bosnian War and the horrific siege of Sarajevo as seen through the eyes of regular citizens living on Logavina Street, who struggled with hunger, poverty, sniper fire, and shellings.

Ask A North Korean

Defectors Talk About Their Lives Inside the World's Most Secretive Nation

Author: Daniel Tudor

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

ISBN: 1462919863

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 8241

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Understanding North Korean Through the Eyes of Defectors. The weekly column Ask A North Korean, published by NK News, invites readers from around the world to pose questions to North Korean defectors. By way of these fascinating interviews, the North Koreans themselves provide authentic firsthand testimonies about what is happening inside the "Hermit Kingdom." North Korean contributors to this book include: "Seong" who came to South Korea after dropping out during his final year of his university. He is now training to be an elementary school teacher. "Kang" who left North Korea in 2005. He now lives in London, England. "Cheol" who was from South Hamgyeong in North Korea and is now a second-year university student in Seoul. "Park" worked and studied in Pyongyang before defecting to the U.S. in 2011. He is now studying at a U.S. college. Ask A North Korean sheds critical light on all aspects of North Korean politics and society and shows that even in the world's most authoritarian regime, life goes on in ways that are very different from what you may think.

Under the Same Sky

From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America

Author: Joseph Kim,Stephan Talty

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544373170

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 2095

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A man who escaped the devastating famine in North Korea, despite being abandoned as a boy, tells the story of his survival inside the oppressive country, his escape and subsequent rescue by activists and Christian missionaries and his success in the United States thanks to a newfound faith and courage. 50,000 first printing.

Dear Leader

My Escape from North Korea

Author: Jang Jin-sung

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476766568

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 6331

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"In this rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom. "The General will now enter the room." Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il's face will soon appear... As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life. Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing expose; told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world's most secretive and repressive regime"--

Escaping North Korea

Defiance and Hope in the World's Most Repressive Country

Author: Mike Kim

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742557338

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 7849

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The first of its kind, this book provides a unique inside look into the hidden world of ordinary North Koreans. Mike Kim, who worked with refugees on the Chinese border for four years, recounts their experiences of enduring famine, sex-trafficking, and torture, as well as the inspirational stories of those who overcame tremendous adversity to escape the repressive regime of their homeland and make new lives. One of the few Americans granted entry into the secretive "Hermit Kingdom," Kim came to know theisolated country and its people intimately. His North Korean friends entrusted their secrets to him as they revealed the government's brainwashing tactics and confessed their true thoughts about the repressive regime that so rigidly controls their lives.Civilians and soldiers alike spoke of what North Koreans think of Americans and war with America. Children remembered the suffering they endured through the famine. Women and girls recalled their horrific experiences at the hands of sex-traffickers. Former political prisoners shared their memories of beatings, torture, and executions in the gulags. With the permission of these courageous individuals, Kim now shares their stories and recounts his dramatic experiences leading North Koreans to asylum through the six-thousand-mile modern-day underground railway through Asia. His unflinching narrative exposes the truth about North Korea, stripping away the last veils that still shroud this brutal dictatorship.

North Korea

State of Paranoia

Author: Paul French

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.

ISBN: 1783606835

Category: History

Page: 488

View: 3935

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North Korea continues to make headlines, arousing curiosity and fear in equal measure. The world’s most secretive nuclear power, it still has Gulag-style prison camps, allows no access to the Internet and bans its people from talking to foreigners without official approval. In this remarkable and eye-opening book, internationally best-selling author Paul French examines in forensic detail the history and politics of North Korea, Pyongyang’s complex relations with South Korea, Japan, China and America, and the implications of Kim Jong-un’s increasingly belligerent leadership following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il. As an already unstable North Korea grows ever more unpredictable, antagonizing enemies and allies alike, North Korea: State of Paranoia delivers a provocative and frightening account of a potentially explosive nuclear tripwire.

Made in North Korea

Graphics From Everyday Life in the DPRK

Author: Nick Bonner

Publisher: Phaidon Press

ISBN: 9780714873503

Category: Design

Page: 240

View: 2181

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North Korea uncensored and unfiltered – ordinary life in the world's most secretive nation, captured in never-before-seen ephemera. Made in North Korea uncovers the fascinating and surprisingly beautiful graphic culture of North Korea - from packaging to hotel brochures, luggage tags to tickets for the world-famous mass games. From his base in Beijing, Bonner has been running tours into North Korea for over twenty years, and along the way collecting graphic ephemera. He has amassed thousands of items that, as a collection, provide an extraordinary and rare insight into North Korea's state-controlled graphic output, and the lives of ordinary North Koreans.

A Thousand Miles to Freedom

My Escape from North Korea

Author: Eunsun Kim,Sébastien Falletti

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466870885

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 1370

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Eunsun Kim was born in North Korea, one of the most secretive and oppressive countries in the modern world. As a child Eunsun loved her country...despite her school field trips to public executions, daily self-criticism sessions, and the increasing gnaw of hunger as the country-wide famine escalated. By the time she was eleven years old, Eunsun's father and grandparents had died of starvation, and Eunsun was in danger of the same. Finally, her mother decided to escape North Korea with Eunsun and her sister, not knowing that they were embarking on a journey that would take them nine long years to complete. Before finally reaching South Korea and freedom, Eunsun and her family would live homeless, fall into the hands of Chinese human traffickers, survive a North Korean labor camp, and cross the deserts of Mongolia on foot. Now, Eunsun is sharing her remarkable story to give voice to the tens of millions of North Koreans still suffering in silence. Told with grace and courage, her memoir is a riveting exposé of North Korea's totalitarian regime and, ultimately, a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

The Orphan Master's Son

A Novel

Author: Adam Johnson

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0679643990

Category: Fiction

Page: 480

View: 912

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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER • LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • The Washington Post • Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Plain Dealer • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Scott Turow, The Millions • Slate • Salon • BookPage • Shelf Awareness “The single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The book’s cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word.”—The Wall Street Journal Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.” Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master’s Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today’s greatest writers. Praise for The Orphan Master’s Son “An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.”—Pulitzer Prize citation “Mr. Johnson has written a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “Rich with a sense of discovery . . . The Orphan Master’s Son has an early lead on novel of [the year].”—The Daily Beast “This is a novel worth getting excited about.”—The Washington Post “[A] ripping piece of fiction that is also an astute commentary on the nature of freedom, sacrifice, and glory.”—Elle From the Hardcover edition.

Nothing to Envy

Love, Life and Death in North Korea

Author: Barbara Demick

Publisher: Fourth Estate

ISBN: 9780732292843

Category: Korea (North)

Page: 314

View: 4010

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WINNER OF THE 2010 SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION What if the world imagined by George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four was real? What if everything around you was black and white except for the red letters on propaganda signs? Where spies like Orwell's Thought Police studied your facial expressions during political rallies to make sure you were sincere in your expressions and your thoughts? If you couldn't turn the dials of your radio away from the government station? In fact, there is such a place: North Korea, the only country not connected to the Internet by choice. Ruled over by a dictator, visible only in carefully controlled images, it's a mysterious, even sinister country. But it's also a place where 22 million people live, work, and dream of a different life. Journalist Barbara Demick spent a decade covering North Korea's strange politics and regulations. Then one day she met a young woman defector, Mi-ran, who told her about growing up there; about the cinema she used to go to when the country still had electricity, and about the teenage romance which blossomed there. Through Mi-ran's story Demick glimpsed another, more human side of North Korea.In Nothing to Envy, Demick re-traces the life of Mi-ran and of five other North Koreans, taking us into the heart of an elusive society. We see her subjects fall in love, nurture ambitions, and struggle with survival and betrayal. Their stories form a haunting portrait of a bizarre society and the cost it exacts on its citizens.

My Holiday in North Korea

The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth

Author: Wendy E. Simmons

Publisher: RosettaBooks

ISBN: 0795347227

Category: Travel

Page: 311

View: 8379

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Most people want out of North Korea. Wendy Simmons wanted in. In My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth, Wendy shares a glimpse of North Korea as it’s never been seen before. Even though it’s the scariest place on Earth, somehow Wendy forgot to check her sense of humor at the border. But Wendy’s initial amusement and bewilderment soon turned to frustration and growing paranoia. Before long, she learned the essential conundrum of “tourism” in North Korea: Travel is truly a love affair. But, just like love, it’s a two-way street. And North Korea deprives you of all this. They want you to fall in love with the singular vision of the country they’re willing to show you and nothing more. Through poignant, laugh-out-loud essays and 92 never-before-published color photographs of North Korea, Wendy chronicles one of the strangest vacations ever. Along the way, she bares all while undergoing an inner journey as convoluted as the country itself.