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Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2000

    A superb work on Korea

    The Korean peninsula faces a complex foreign policy crisis involving the interplay of economic and security issues. 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' is magesterial in scope, integrating the economic, political, and security dimensions. The sheer breadth of the book is remarkable. The book covers the development of the South Korean economy and the financial crisis that has rocked the South in the past few years. It offers an insightful look into the workings of the North Korean economy, and how the failings of that economy led to both strategic adventurism and famine. The final third of the book is devoted to an analysis of future scenarios on the peninsula. Noland identifies the most likely scenario to be a strategy of ad hoc policy adjustments by the North, supported by engagement with South Korea, China, Japan, and possibly even the United States. While the book is thoroughly researched and referenced, its tone is quite lively and accessible to a broad audience -- at times even drolly humorous. An excellent and important work on Korea.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2000

    an extraordinary analysis of a hot spot

    Winston Churchill called the Soviet Union 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,' but then unlike Marcus Noland, he never visited North Korea. Noland has done an extraordinary job in assessing this geopolitical sore spot. He covers the globally critical nuclear and missile issues and dissects the Clinton policy. Some of the economics get a bit heavy going, but one can easily follow the thread of the argument. The book is particularly good on how developments in the North might affect economic and political developments in the South.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2000

    Great background on either Korea

    Dr. Noland¿s book is terrific source of background knowledge on both Koreas. Not only do you get a thorough analysis of the current situation, but he also outlines the history that brought both Koreas to where they are today. For the advanced student of Korean economics and politics, it is a must. Even for someone coming from a business perspective with a more casual interest in Korea, such as myself, I found the book easy to read and gave me the background to better understand the people and their economy. Dr. Noland¿s view of possible outcomes in the situation is also a fascinating read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    DON'T BOTHER - BOOK LACKS REAL INFORMATION - Book has no knowledge of on the ground realities in North Korea. Pure academia.

    For someone who travels to North Korea on a regular basis I was extremely disappointed with this book. I have seen many changes take place in North Korea in the past 4 years which are completely missed in this book. The book lacks real research. As explained in the preface, the book's information is based on numerous academic conferences in the USA but not on visits to North Korea!!?? This armchair approach to writing might work well for a history book but not when you are dealing with the changing dynamics of a developing country. In addition, the title is very misleading as it gives no suggestions of how to avoid the Apocalypse or what is meant by apocalypse. There is no plan. No suggestions of efforts or projects. If that were not bad enough, the book does refer to silly ideas like the collapse of North Korea. This will be seen as ridiculous to anyone who has actually lived in the developing world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2000

    Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas

    The situation on the Korean peninsula has great importance for all of Northeast Asia. This book carefully analyses the costs of Korean unification and the costs of rebuilding the North Korea economy. Mr. Noland says that 'post-colonial payment' by Japan will be important. This issue will be a difficult one for Japan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    This is bound to become the basic reference...

    We all have some books that we keep near our desks as basic references. 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' is this kind of book. It is comprehensive in scope, copiously researched, and the index is excellent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    Insightful analysis of prospects on the Korean peninsula

    By drawing on other-country parallels such as German unification, or the experiences of China and Vietnam as they re-engaged with the world community, 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' provides interesting insights about N. Korea's future and the possible implications for the South. This book is unique among other N. Korea titles in that it is underpinned by rigorous economic analysis while, at the same time, exhibiting a sound understanding of geopolitical dynamics of the peninsula and of the interests of key player countries (S. Korea, Japan, US, China). The book presents a comprehensive analysis of N. Korea's economy and policies (past and present), and an assessment of future prospects for the Korea peninsula in light of several plausible alternative scenarios of policy developments in the North. 'Avoiding the Apocalypse' contains a wealth and depth of information Mr. Noland has obviously acquired through his research and interactions with key economic, political and military personalities in North and South Korea, Japan, the US and China. I found this book to be very well written, and in a style accessible to a general educated readership. Unusually for such a weighty book, the text includes cross-cultural sayings (i.e. proverbs) and metaphors, in addition to insider quotes, that make the book an interesting read indeed. I recommend the book highly for anyone interested in a thorough review of N. Korea and in knowing what the current state of play is as regards N. Korea's integration into the world community of nations. If you're interested in a fresh and intellectually stimulating perspective on the events unfolding on the Korean peninsula, this is also the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2000

    Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas

    This book is essential reading on the Korean situation. It covers both the situation in the North and the South. The treatment of the South Korean financial crisis is the best existent. The real strength of the book, though, is its pathbreaking analysis of the North.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2000

    A fascinating account of a critical issue

    This book is a delight - the author combines serious economic and political analysis with rich knowledge of institutions and history on the Korean peninsula. Moreover, he knows how to write. He makes sophisticated arguments seem easy. For readers concerned with the future of South and North Korea, this is essential reading. The book consists of a thorough overview of the current situation on the peninsula with a brief but insightful review of the historical processes that have brought us to this point. It distills in a accessible manner the vital insights from the author's formal models of the Korean economy. Most importantly, it weaves all of these different viewpoints into a coherent and persuasive story.

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