Saturday, 6 March 2010

A Look at North Korea

Finished March 6
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
This book looks at the lives of six North Koreans over a fifteen year period that covers the death of Kim Il-sung, the taking over by his son Kim Jong-il, and a devastating famine that killed up to 20 percent of the population. Demick, Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times, has done thorough research to verify as much of this information as she can. All six of her subjects now live in South Korea and she includes the tales of their escape here as well. The facts of living in North Korea are worse that I'd imagined, and each person's experiences are told with clarify but not without feeling.
This book is worth reading to better understand this country, alienated from the rest of the world more than any other. I found it compelling to read and enlightening.

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