- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Suffering no misconceptions regarding North Korea's dubious political tradition - from human-rights violations to token democracy - Bruce Cumings insists on a more nuanced understanding of U.S.-North Korean relations. From CIA reports on North Korea's impressive social programs to that country's genuine efforts to address the new strategic environment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cumings draws from his extensive knowledge of Korean history and declassified government reports to show that North Korea is as fascinating as it is repellent, as formidable as it is unique and idiosyncratic.
"Few books of political commentary are as insightful, outspoken, and even personable, as this one." —Booklist
"America’s leading historian and political analyst of contemporary Korea." —Chalmers Johnson, Author of Blowback
|1||War Is a Stern Teacher||1|
|2||The Nuclear Crisis: First Act and Sequel||43|
|3||The Legend of Kim Il Sung||103|
|4||Daily Life in North Korea||128|
|5||The World's First Postmodern Dictator||155|
|6||Beyond Good and Evil||177|
Posted June 22, 2014
Posted May 13, 2006
Bruce Cumings' writings are often depicted by right-wing Republicans as apologist literature for North Korea. I think some of this is true, but as Cumings demonstrates the situation in Korea is much more complex than just good (America and South Korea) and villains (North Korea's Kim Jong Il). Cumings is not naive about the totalitarian North Korean garrison state of Jong Il and his successor to the throne, Jong Nam. Cumings shows that the leadership in North Korea are not a bunch of quacks or 'nuts,' they are quite rational, making them maybe more dangerous. Before Bush let open his mouth about the 'Axis of Evil,' North Korea was prepared for much more peaceful relations with the West. An interesting dichotomy in this book appears as Cumings argues that North Korea believes in traditional Korean values or 'Juche' as it is called by them. It is a return to neo-Confucianism. Very well written with a little bit too much solipism and apologism with some of North Korea's less-than-savory activities.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2005
North Korea is perhaps one of the most misunderstood countries/regimes in the world today. Not that it's not a militaristic garrison state...it is, but THERE IS AN ENTIRE HISTORY AS TO WHY IT IS THAT WAY and this book is a great tool for understanding why and how. Bruce Cummings does an excellent job of gathering information much of it 'from the horse's mouth' of US leaders and generals. From the occupation of the Korean Peninsula by Imperial Japan in World War 2, the guerilla war waged by the communists to fight and defeat the Japanese, the US role in dividing the nation and installing into power in the South of those who had openly and aggressively collaborated with the fascist occupation, through the Korean War with the US, the aid of the Chinese people to the Korean people, the threats of nuclear holocaust by the US, the complete destruction of the North by US bombs and napalm that resulted in the deaths of between 2-3 million people. The author also goes through the history of the founder of the North--Kim Il Sung, and his son--Kim Jong Il. Cummings brings the reader up to date and also puts the entire history into perspective and place in today's whole Orwellian Bush-dubbed 'Axis of Evil' and the war on the world spiralling crusade. Highly reccommended for students, professors and anyone wanting to know the world based on materialist and physical reality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.