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Customer Review

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars North Korea by Bruce Cummings, 13 July 2009
This review is from: North Korea: Another Country (Paperback)
This is by far the best book I've read so far on North Korea. Cummings is articulate and insightful about his subject but never short sighted about the north's failings. Although its clear that Cummings does share a great love for North Korea's people and culture he doesn't give Kim Jong or his father Kim il Sung an easy ride, painting the son as a playboy and tyrant. Overall this book covers a lot of depth and gives the reader an honest and nonjudgmental look at a strange and secret world.
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Initial post: 11 Aug 2009 03:12:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Aug 2009 06:21:35 BDT
Actually I thought it was utterly dishonest. Cummings is an expert in this area so cannot claim to simply be writing ignorant trash. When he falsely claims there was no nuclear program pre-Bush Junior there is no way he doesn't know it is false. When he claims somehow the DPRK's political culture is somehow a natural progression or would somehow make sense within a korean context, he for an absolute fact this statement is a lie. He knows it because a similar if less repressive regime in the South was overthrown and he wrote extensively about it elsewhere. When he parrots the North's lies about the Korean War he is writing KNOWING that the major claims have been thoroughly disproven by archival material from the USSR.

For an exercise read the "Aquariums of Pyongyang" - Cummings recommends it in this book - and see if you think the legal process and the treatment of prisoners is even comparable with the treatment black people get in US prisons. The read his other book, read Martin's book on North Korea, read the "Two Koreas" and give this one a pass unless you are simply trying to have your view that it is "all the US's fault" and "DPRK isn't that bad" confirmed.
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