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North Korea: Another Country
     

North Korea: Another Country

by Bruce Cumings
 

Depicted as an insular and forbidding police state with an “insane” dictator at its helm, North Korea—charter member of Bush’s “Axis of Evil”—is a country the U.S. loves to hate. Now the CIA says it possesses nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as long-range missiles capable of delivering them to

Overview

Depicted as an insular and forbidding police state with an “insane” dictator at its helm, North Korea—charter member of Bush’s “Axis of Evil”—is a country the U.S. loves to hate. Now the CIA says it possesses nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as long-range missiles capable of delivering them to America’s West Coast.

But, as Bruce Cumings demonstrates in this provocative, lively read, the story of the U.S.-Korea conflict is more complex than our leaders or our news media would have us believe. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Korea, and on declassified government reports, Cumings traces that story, from the brutal Korean War to the present crisis. Harboring no illusions regarding the totalitarian Kim Jong Il regime, Cumings nonetheless insists on a more nuanced approach. The result is both a counter-narrative to the official U.S. and North Korean versions and a fascinating portrayal of North Korea, a country that suffers through foreign invasions, natural disasters, and its own internal contradictions, yet somehow continues to survive.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cumings counters the hype with an instructive history." —The New York Times

"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

Library Journal
Died-in-the-wool American patriots and the Republican Party's faithful will receive little comfort in reading Cumings' critical study of U.S. policy toward North Korea. First, Cumings (history, Univ. of Chicago; The Origins of the Korean War) reviews some of the dirty aspects of an essentially unknown American war in Korea. He next proceeds to suggest the commission of American atrocities and follows with a plausible set of reasons for North Korea's rejection of 50 years of Japanese colonial rule, another 50 years of American hegemony, and the existence of a powerful South Korea. The current administration receives a devastating critique for the American retreat from the 1994 Framework Agreement with North Korea, their suggestion of a preemptive strike against North Korean nuclear facilities, and their desire for the overthrow of the North Korean government. Cumings concludes that the North Korean leadership of Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il, is not lunatic in nature but predictable and deeply rooted in historic Korean culture. North Korea will be uncomfortable reading for some, but it is a necessary corrective to prior American media conditioning. Recommended for all libraries.-John F. Riddick, Central Michigan Univ. Lib., Mt. Pleasant Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565848733
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
11/01/2003
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Cumings is the author of North Korea, Korea’s Place in the Sun, and Parallax Visions. He teaches at the University of Chicago.

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