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Dear Leader: North Korea's senior propagandist exposes shocking truths behind the regime Hardcover – 8 May 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Dear Leader: North Korea's senior propagandist exposes shocking truths behind the regime
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  • Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea
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  • Escape from Camp 14: One man's remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the West
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rider; 1st Edition edition (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846044197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846044199
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A searing true story that takes the reader to some of the most frightening places on earth...utterly compelling...real lyricism...As an historical document, this is an enormously important book that deserves the widest possible readership. As a story of survival, it is an instant classic." (The Times)

"Extraordinary...exciting...A rare portrait of life and death in North Korea...This year a United Nations commission of enquiry found that the Kim regime has committed crimes against humanity. The commission warned China that its treatment of Koreans violated international law. It recommended that the case be tried by the International Criminal Court or a UN tribunal. One day that will happen, and this book will be part of the indictment." (Sunday Times)

"As one of the most prominent North Koreans in exile in South Korea, Jang Jin-sung is eminently placed to interpret North Korea...His memoirs change the way we look at the country...they offer a radically different explanation of who holds power in North Korea and the historical sequence of events leading up to this situation. As such they are an absolute must-read for those who wish to formulate a sensible action plan [for the country]." (Remco Breuker, Professor of Korean Studies, University of Leiden)

"A fascinating insider account… a testament to Mr Jang’s literary flair" (Economist)

"Harrowing...important and convincing...A major contribution to understanding what appears to be a nation impossible to understand" (Observer)

Book Description

A rare and extraordinary glimpse into the reality of life in North Korea, by a member of the powerful elite

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having heard Jang Jin Sung speak at Kings Place recently, I was interested to read his account of his escape from his homeland, N Korea. My only regret was not reading this account of his escape before seeing him. Although distinguishing between Korean names was hard for my Anglo ears the insight into this terrifying world was a remarkable and although we have our difficulties here in the UK it made me feel very lucky to live in a democracy where we can take our freedom so much for granted.
I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book gives so much!
- Good insight into how North Korea is controlled and the terrible suffering that the people of this country have to endure
- Incredible true story of the writer's previous lift in North Korea and his struggles during his escape
- Some Information about comtemporary North Korea

Great as an informative book, which can show the terrible realities of ruthless regimes and human suffering but also written beautifully, it's a factual book but has the qualities of an enthralling novel, which you simply cannot put down. A powerful book that helps the reader connect with the writer and indeed in a sense seems to make the reader connect with every North Korean. You can tell that it's written by a master of words....a poet.

All I can say is God Bless you Jang Jin-Sung, thank you for going through what you did and being brave enough to write about it as you do, you are making a difference and I am glad you have brought your story to me.
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Format: Hardcover
Plenty of books have been written about people who fled North Korea. Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy and Kang Chol-Hwan's Aquariums of Pyongyang may well be the more well-known among those, but there are a host of other books on the subject. Virtually everyone who made a run for it has a story to tell.

So does Jang Jin-Sung. What distinguishes the author from most of the others is that he had it all made. He wrote the correct poems which allowed him to rise through the ranks and become part of the inner circle. If he hadn't screwed up, i.e., lending a book, which he wasn't supposed to, to someone, who wasn't supposed to have it, and if that someone hadn't lost it, which he wasn't supposed to do, the author could have lived out his days in comfort, or at least as long as Kim Jong-Il was in charge. It was not to be, so the author and his good friend made a run for it.

The interesting part of the book I thought was the adventures (if that is the right word) the two experienced in China. That would be all of Part two and most of Part three. What I found odd is that the actual `how I finally made it to South Korea' constitutes a very small part of Part three and it is also a very undetailed account of how it was done. Included in the latter two parts are also a number of anecdotes on Kim Jong-Il's policies. If you have watched North Korea closely some of these should not be entirely unfamiliar to you. But that as it may be, these chapters are gruesome reading.

What made me smile is the author's description of meeting the dear leader.
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Format: Kindle Edition
North Korea is a paranoia state about which the public know very little. It is the last Stalinist state, a communist nightmare, that shuffles along through economic collapse, hunger, repression and self-imposed isolation. It is also a nuclear power hence the concern about the threats and belligerence emanating from the DPRK.

The official history of this country has been described as a mix of myth, legend, hyperbole and official script writing. The image of the Leader is carefully drawn and crafted. The communist cult of personality is well to the fore. In reality it is a failed state in dire economic straits. A drip feed of international aid,ironically mainly from the USA, keeps it going. For the 25 million people their history has been an arduous march since the state was created out of the Korean War.

The DPRK occupies around 55% of the land area of the Korean peninsular. It is approximately the size of New York State. Bush included it in his 'axis of evil' speech in 2002. Like China, the DPRK places its military before the working class-'the military first ideology'. Obtaining genuine information about this state has been extremely difficult, hence the importance of this new book by Jan Jin-sung.

The author is a defector. The book has taken ten years to produce. It is a riveting account of evil detailing as it does the horrors of prison camps, and its psychopathic leader. His father was a doctor. Remarkably, he gained an audience with Kim Jong -11 owing to his work in a state propaganda agency where he wrote poems about his leader's divine greatness. His description of that audience tells you a great deal about Kim's life style and paranoia.

His meeting with Kim gave him a privileged position.
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