Christopher D. Bean

Helpful votes received on reviews: 95% (167 of 175)
Location: UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 186,548 - Total Helpful Votes: 167 of 175
The Korean War In Colour [2001] [DVD]
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I agree with both previous reviewers! It is obviously an American view of the war which is fine and understandable and on the whole it is mostly about the footage. However, there is very little substance behind the politics of the war and for somebody that doesn't know much about this conflict it would be very frustrating. There is no mention of Kim Il-sung, the North Korean leader who started the war - seems an important fact. And there is no mention of Korean reunification or the actual intended point of the war in the first place. We are instead presented with a very simplified black and white, cowboys and indians, good guys vs bad guys, capitalists vs commies interpretation of events… Read more
Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
144 of 147 people found the following review helpful
Once I started reading 'Nothing to Envy' I couldn't put it down. I've read several books on North Korea but this is probably the broadest and most human book I have read. It gives us fascinating insights into all of the strangest and cruellest aspects of the regime: the gulags, the cult of personality, the military, the class structure, the difficulties in integrating into a different country and an extremely disturbing and heartbreaking account of the famine. The stories come from a collection of 6 different North Koreans who eventually fled and defected to South Korea; amongst them are two young lovers - one an academic and one an elementary school teacher; a doctor; an orphaned boy; and… Read more
North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection by Koen De Ceuster
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The posters themselves are very good and very interesting but the presentation of the book itself is a little frustrating. As the other reviews have mentioned, the captions (the translations of the slogans) are inexplicably written vertically along the side of each poster - which means you have to turn the book on it's side twice on every double page spread. As you can imagine, that can get pretty tedious. I would have also like a bit more detail with the translations. The captions are only translations of the slogans - this means that other text in the posters (Korean characters on flags or on books featured within the pictures) are left untranslated which isn't helpful for people who… Read more