North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea by Andrei LankovThe Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea for over 60 years. Most of that period has found the country suffering under mature Stalinism characterized by manipulation, brutality and tight social control. Nevertheless, some citizens of Kim Jong Ils regime manage to transcend his tyranny in their daily existence. This book describes that difficult but determined existence and the world that the North Koreans have created for themselves in the face of oppression. Many features of this world are unique and even bizarre. But they have been created by the citizens to reflect their own ideas and values, in sharp contrast to the world forced upon them by a totalitarian system. Opening chapters introduce the political system and the extent to which it permeates citizens daily lives, from the personal status badges they wear to the nationalized distribution of the food they eat. Chapters discussing the schools, the economic system, and family life dispel the myth of the workers paradise that North Korea attempts to perpetuate. In these chapters the intricacies of daily life in a totalitarian dictatorship are seen through the eyes of defectors whose anecdotes constitute an important portion of the material. The closing chapter treats at length the significant changes that have taken place in North Korea over the last decade, concluding that these changes will lead to the quiet but inevitable death of North Korean Stalinism. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
Every product is independently selected by obsessive editors. Welcome to Reading Lists, comprehensive book guides from the Strategist designed to make you an expert or at least a fascinating dinner-party companion in hyperspecific or newsworthy topics. Up first: a selection of books about North Korea, recommended by researchers, professors, authors, and public-policy scholars. Each of these experts sent us a list of books , from their favorite defector memoirs to the most thorough overviews of the Kim dynasty. The titles ultimately included on this list were recommended by at least two experts.
N orth Korea is many things. It is a violent tyranny led by a single family. It is a cold war relic that should have vanished decades ago. Yet it not only endures, it could yet become capable, along with Russia and China, of launching a long-range nuclear strike against the US. Outside enemies are forever poised to attack. Donald Trump is unwittingly playing a star role in this narrative.
The book that began my obsession with North Korea. Demick follows the defectors' lives through the tumult around Kim Il-sung's death in.
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Make Your Own List. Kim Jong-un's posturing over nuclear weapons is a distraction from more pressing concerns: the extreme poverty and disenfranchisement of his people, says North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee. She chooses five books for understanding the hermit kingdom. Interview by Alec Ash. Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea but escaped to China in and lived there for more than 10 years. She went to Seoul, South Korea, in , and struggled to adjust to life in the bustling city.