Without You, There Is No Us

Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elite

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Author: Suki Kim

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307720675

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 406

A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki has gone undercover as a missionary and a teacher. Over the next six months, she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them English, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at PUST is lonely and claustrophobic, especially for Suki, whose letters are read by censors and who must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but from her colleagues—evangelical Christian missionaries who don't know or choose to ignore that Suki doesn't share their faith. As the weeks pass, she is mystified by how easily her students lie, unnerved by their obedience to the regime. At the same time, they offer Suki tantalizing glimpses of their private selves—their boyish enthusiasm, their eagerness to please, the flashes of curiosity that have not yet been extinguished. She in turn begins to hint at the existence of a world beyond their own—at such exotic activities as surfing the Internet or traveling freely and, more dangerously, at electoral democracy and other ideas forbidden in a country where defectors risk torture and execution. But when Kim Jong-il dies, and the boys she has come to love appear devastated, she wonders whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."

Without You, There is No Us

My Secret Life Teaching the Sons of North Korea's Elite

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Author: Suki Kim

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1846044839

Category: History

Page: 291

View: 3876

It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, except for the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. This is where Suki Kim has accepted a job teaching English. Over the next six months she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them to write, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at the university is lonely and claustrophobic. Her letters are read by censors and she must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but also from her colleagues, evangelical Christian missionaries, whose faith she does not share. As the weeks pass she discovers how easily her students lie, and how total is their obedience to Kim Jong-il. She also, bravely, hints at the existence of a world beyond their own: the internet, free travel, democracy, and other ideas forbidden in a country where torture and execution are commonplace. Yet her pupils are also full of boyish enthusiasm, with flashes of curiosity not yet extinguished. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life inside the world's most inscrutable country.

Without You, There Is No Us

My secret life teaching the sons of North Korea’s elite

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Author: Suki Kim

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473527651

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 3256

It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, except for the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. This is where Suki Kim has accepted a job teaching English. Over the next six months she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them to write, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at the university is lonely and claustrophobic. Her letters are read by censors and she must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but also from her colleagues, evangelical Christian missionaries, whose faith she does not share. As the weeks pass she discovers how easily her students lie, and how total is their obedience to Kim Jong-il. She also, bravely, hints at the existence of a world beyond their own: the internet, free travel, democracy, and other ideas forbidden in a country where torture and execution are commonplace. Yet her pupils are also full of boyish enthusiasm, with flashes of curiosity not yet extinguished. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life inside the world's most inscrutable country.

The Interpreter

A Novel

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Author: Suki Kim

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429923781

Category: Fiction

Page: 304

View: 1816

A striking first novel about the dark side of the American Dream Suzy Park is a twenty-nine-year-old Korean American interpreter for the New York City court system. Young, attractive, and achingly alone, she makes a startling and ominous discovery during one court case that forever alters her family's history. Five years prior, her parents--hardworking greengrocers who forfeited personal happiness for their children's gain--were brutally murdered in an apparent robbery of their fruit and vegetable stand. Or so Suzy believed. But the glint of a new lead entices Suzy into the dangerous Korean underworld, and ultimately reveals the mystery of her parents' homicide. An auspicious debut about the myth of the model Asian citizen, The Interpreter traverses the distance between old worlds and new, poverty and privilege, language and understanding.

The Accusation

Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea

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Author: Bandi

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802189342

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 9929

The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il's leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships. The characters of these compelling stories come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from a young mother living among the elite in Pyongyang whose son misbehaves during a political rally, to a former Communist war hero who is deeply disillusioned with the intrusion of the Party into everything he holds dear, to a husband and father who is denied a travel permit and sneaks onto a train in order to visit his critically ill mother. Written with deep emotion and writing talent, The Accusation is a vivid depiction of life in a closed-off one-party state, and also a hopeful testament to the humanity and rich internal life that persists even in such inhumane conditions.

See You Again in Pyongyang

A Journey into Kim Jong Un's North Korea

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Author: Travis Jeppesen

Publisher: Hachette Books

ISBN: 0316509132

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 4270

From terrifying missile tests, its unmissable Olympic cheering squad, and the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un--not to mention stranger-than-fiction stories of purges and assassinations--news from North Korea has dominated global headlines. But what is life there actually like? In See You Again in Pyongyang, Travis Jeppesen, the first American to complete a university program in North Korea, culls from his experiences living, traveling, and studying in the country to create a multifaceted portrait of the country and its idiosyncratic capital city in the Kim Jong Un Era. Anchored by the experience of his five trips to North Korea and his interactions with citizens from all walks of life, Jeppesen reveals how the North Korean system actually functions and perpetuates itself in the day-to-day, beyond the propaganda-fueled ideology. He challenges the notion that Pyongyang is merely a "showcase capital" where everything is staged for the benefit of foreigners, as well as the idea that Pyongyangites are brainwashed robots. With unique personal insight and a rigorous historical grounding, Jeppesen goes beyond the cliches of "taboo tourism" and the "good versus evil" tenor of politicians and media reports. See You Again in Pyongyang is an essential addition to the literature about one of the world's most fascinating and mysterious places.

Dear Leader

My Escape from North Korea

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Author: Jang Jin-sung

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476766568

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 364

"In this rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom. "The General will now enter the room." Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il's face will soon appear... As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life. Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing expose; told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world's most secretive and repressive regime"--

Summary of Without You, There Is No Us

By Suki Kim | Includes Analysis

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Author: Instaread Summaries

Publisher: Idreambooks

ISBN: 9781945272790

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 28

View: 9795

A Kim Jong-Il Production

The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power

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Author: Paul Fischer

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250054265

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 907

Documents the North Korean dictator's 1978 kidnapping of a South Korean actress and her filmmaker ex-husband, describing how they were imprisoned, forced to remarry, and compelled to make films for their captor before their daring escape.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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Author: John Perkins

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

ISBN: 9781576755129

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 250

View: 5040

Perkins, a former chief economist at a Boston strategic-consulting firm, confesses he was an "economic hit man" for 10 years, helping U.S. intelligence agencies and multinationals cajole and blackmail foreign leaders into serving U.S. foreign policy and awarding lucrative contracts to American business.

North Korea Undercover: Inside the World's Most Secret State

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Author: John Sweeney

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1605988030

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 6745

An authoritative and, at times, frightening investigation into the dark side of North Korean society. North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation on earth. Big Brother is always watching: It is Orwell's 1984 made reality. Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea, having entered the country undercover, posing as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics. Huge factories with no staff or electricity; hospitals with no patients; uniformed child soldiers; and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ—the DeMilitarized Zone, where North Korea ends and South Korea begins—all framed by the relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent loudspeakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty and the slightest sign of discontent. Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, Sweeney's North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today, examining the country's troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.

Star of the North

A Novel

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Author: D. B. John

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 0525573305

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 6425

“A thrilling tale of abduction and escape in North Korea....highly entertaining." —The Washington Post A propulsive and ambitious thriller about a woman trying to rescue her twin sister from captivity in North Korea, and the North Korean citizens with whom she forms an unlikely alliance Star of the North opens in 1998, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twelve years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her, and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her--including undertaking a daring mission into the heart of the regime. Her story is masterfully braided together with two other narrative threads. In one, a North Korean peasant woman finds a forbidden international aid balloon and uses the valuables inside to launch a dangerously lucrative black-market business. In the other, a high-ranking North Korean official discovers, to his horror, that he may be descended from a traitor, a fact that could mean his death if it is revealed. As the novel progresses, these narrative strands converge and connect in surprising ways, ultimately building to an explosive and unforgettable climax.

For the Time Being

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Author: Annie Dillard

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307477665

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 2405

National Bestseller "Beautifully written and delightfully strange...as earthy as it is sublime...in the truest sense, an eye-opener." --Daily News From Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and one of the most compelling writers of our time, comes For the Time Being, her most profound narrative to date. With her keen eye, penchant for paradox, and yearning for truth, Dillard renews our ability to discover wonder in life's smallest--and often darkest--corners. Why do we exist? Where did we come from? How can one person matter? Dillard searches for answers in a powerful array of images: pictures of bird-headed dwarfs in the standard reference of human birth defects; ten thousand terra-cotta figures fashioned for a Chinese emperor in place of the human court that might have followed him into death; the paleontologist and theologian Teilhard de Chardin crossing the Gobi Desert; the dizzying variety of clouds. Vivid, eloquent, haunting, For the Time Being evokes no less than the terrifying grandeur of all that remains tantalizingly and troublingly beyond our understanding. "Stimulating, humbling, original--. [Dillard] illuminate[s] the human perspective of the world, past, present and future, and the individual's relatively inconsequential but ever so unique place in it."--Rocky Mountain News

The Interior Circuit

A Mexico City Chronicle

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Author: Francisco Goldman

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802192637

Category: Travel

Page: 336

View: 3419

The author of Say Her Name shares a deeply personal memoir of grieving the loss of his wife—and confronting the troubled city where she grew up. Five years after his wife’s untimely death, Francisco Goldman decided to overcome his fear of driving in Mexico City. The widower and award-winning writer wanted to symbolize his love and enduring grief by fully embracing his late wife’s childhood home and the city that came to mean so much to them. The Interior Circuit is Goldman’s chronicle of his personal and political awakening to the nuances of this unique city as he learns to navigate the “circuito interior,” a network of highway-like roads that crisscross the traffic-plagued city. Many regard Mexico’s capital—then known as the “DF” or Distrito Federal—as a haven from the many social ills and violence that wracks the rest of the country. Goldman’s account reveals the more complicated truth. As Mexico’s narco war raged on and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (the PRI) returned to power in the summer 2012 elections, the DF’s special apartness came under threat. When organized crime–related violence and death erupt in the summer of 2013, Goldman sets out to try to understand the new challenges facing the city. Part travelogue, part memoir, and part political reportage, The Interior Circuit “is so sneakily brilliant it’s hard to put into words. . . . It is also, in the finest sense, a book that creates its own form” (Los Angeles Times).

Quiet Dell

A Novel

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Author: Jayne Anne Phillips

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439172552

Category: Fiction

Page: 464

View: 4540

A spectacularly riveting novel based on a real life crime by a con man who preyed on widows: “a brilliant fusion of fact and fiction, Jayne Anne Phillips has written the novel of the year” (Stephen King)—“think In Cold Blood meets The Lovely Bones—but sexy” (People). In Chicago in 1931, Asta Eicher, a lonely mother of three, is desperate for money after the sudden death of her husband. She begins to receive seductive letters from a chivalrous, elegant man named Harry Powers, who promises to cherish and protect her, ultimately to marry her and to care for her and her children. Weeks later, Asta and her three children are dead. Emily Thornhill, one of the few women journalists in the Chicago press, wants to understand what happened to this beautiful family, particularly to the youngest child, Annabel, an enchanting girl with a precocious imagination and sense of magic. Determined, Emily travels to West Virginia to cover the murder trial and to investigate the story herself, accompanied by a charming and unconventional photographer equally drawn to the case. These heroic characters, driven by secrets of their own, will stop at nothing to ensure Powers is convicted. A tragedy, a love story, and a tour de force of obsession, Jayne Anne Phillips’s Quiet Dell “hauntingly imagines the victims’ hopes, dreams, and terror” (O, The Oprah Magazine). It is a mesmerizing and deeply moving novel from one of America’s most celebrated writers.

The Aquariums of Pyongyang

Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

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Author: Chol-hwan Kang,Pierre Rigoulot

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465011047

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 9229

Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history.

The Underground Girls of Kabul

In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

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Author: Jenny Nordberg

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0307952509

Category: Social Science

Page: 366

View: 1995

An award-winning foreign correspondent who contributed to a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series reveals the secret Afghan custom of disguising girls as boys to improve their prospects, discussing its political and social significance as well as the experiences of its practitioners.

The Price of Admission

How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges--and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates

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Author: Daniel Golden

Publisher: Crown

ISBN: 0307497372

Category: Education

Page: 352

View: 826

In this explosive book, the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Daniel Golden exposes the corrupt admissions practices that favor the wealthy, the powerful, and the famous. Every spring thousands of middle-class and lower-income high-school seniors learn that they have been rejected by America’s most exclusive colleges. What they may never learn is how many candidates like themselves have been passed over in favor of wealthy white students with lesser credentials—children of alumni, big donors, or celebrities. America, the so-called land of opportunity, is rapidly becoming an aristocracy in which America’s richest families receive special access to elite higher education—enabling them to give their children even more of a head start. Based on two years of investigative reporting and hundreds of interviews with students, parents, school administrators, and admissions personnel—some of whom risked their jobs to speak to the author—in The Price of Admission, Golden names names, along with grades and test scores. He reveals how the sons of former vice president Al Gore, one-time Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist leapt ahead of more deserving applicants at Harvard, Brown, and Princeton. He explores favoritism at the Ivy Leagues, Duke, the University of Virginia, and Notre Dame, among other institutions. He reveals that colleges hold Asian American students to a higher standard than whites; comply with Title IX by giving scholarships to rich women in “patrician sports” like horseback riding, squash, and crew; and repay congressmen for favors by admitting their children. He also reveals that Harvard maintains a “Z-list” for well-connected but underqualified students, who are quietly admitted on the condition that they wait a year to enroll. The Price of Admission explodes the myth of an American meritocracy—the belief that no matter what your background, if you are smart and diligent enough, you will have access to the nation’s most elite universities. It is must reading not only for parents and students with a personal stake in college admissions, but also for those disturbed by the growing divide between ordinary and privileged Americans.

IN NORTH KOREA

Lives and Lies in the State of Truth

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Author: Rory Maclean

Publisher: wander2wonder press

ISBN: 1912022788

Category: Travel

Page: 82

View: 3052

North Koreans could change the world. Today their country can annihilate South Korea and Japan. By 2020 their aim is to have submarine-launched missiles able to nuke the US mainland. So who are the North Koreans? What do they think and feel? Are they belligerent automatons, indoctrinated by years of propaganda, with fingers hovering over trigger buttons? Or simply ordinary men and women who have been shaped by fear or national idolisation, willing to do anything to be accepted and to survive? To answer these question, photographer Nick Danziger and author Rory MacLean, two of today's most sensitive chroniclers, travelled across the country, meeting farmers, fishermen and the captain of the national football team. They spent a morning one hundred metres underground with a 22-year-old subway train dispatcher and afternoons at the capital's dolphinarium, a lavish entertainment complex created to convince North Koreans of their prosperity. At the Museum of the Victorious Fatherland War, as the Korean War is known in the country, they spoke to a much-decorated national hero who boasted, 'When I was eighteen years old I shot and killed 367 enemy soldiers.' From the spotless streets of Pyongyang to the pine-fringed beaches of Wonsan, along the Youth Hero Road, an all-but-deserted strategic highway built by some 50,000 conscripts out of 'patriotic duty', Danziger and MacLean create a telling portrait of both ordinary and extraordinary North Koreans, catching a glimpse of real life in the world's most secretive nation, at a turning point in its – and our – history. 'Danziger is the stuff that legends are made of.' -- Literary Review 'One of the world's top photojournalists.' -- Practical Photographer 'Rory MacLean is more than a gifted writer. He is a man whose artistry is underpinned by a powerful moral sensibility.' – Fergal Keane, BBC 'MacLean is one of the most strikingly original and talented travel writers of his generation.' – Katie Hickman

North Korea's Hidden Revolution

How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society

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Author: Jieun Baek

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300224478

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 9052

The story of North Korea's information underground and how it inspires people to seek better lives beyond their country’s borders One of the least understood countries in the world, North Korea has long been known for its repressive regime. Yet it is far from being an impenetrable black box. Media flows covertly into the country, and fault lines are appearing in the government’s sealed informational borders. Drawing on deeply personal interviews with North Korean defectors from all walks of life, ranging from propaganda artists to diplomats, Jieun Baek tells the story of North Korea’s information underground—the network of citizens who take extraordinary risks by circulating illicit content such as foreign films, television shows, soap operas, books, and encyclopedias. By fostering an awareness of life outside North Korea and enhancing cultural knowledge, the materials these citizens disseminate are affecting the social and political consciousness of a people, as well as their everyday lives.