The Aquariums of Pyongyang

The Aquariums of Pyongyang : Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

4.06 (6,867 ratings by Goodreads)
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North Korea is today one of the last bastions of hard-line Communism. Its leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history. New edition with a new preface by the author.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 18.8mm | 272.16g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0465011047
  • 9780465011049
  • 111,545

Review quote

"A chilling testimony.... Freezes the heart and seizes the soul."--Kirkus Reviews "A triumph against silence."--Financial Times "The Aquariums of Pyongyang is one of the most terrifying memoirs I have ever read. As the first account to emerge from North Korea, it is destined to become a classic."--Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking
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About Pierre Rigoulot

Kang Chol-hwan lives and works in Seoul, where he is a staff writer for Chosun Ilbo, a daily newspaper in South Korea. Pierre Rigoulot is a journalist, historian, and human rights activist living in Paris, France. He is the author of numerous books on the history of political repression and contributed the North Korean chapter to the best-selling The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press).
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Rating details

6,867 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 34% (2,301)
4 44% (2,988)
3 19% (1,334)
2 3% (200)
1 1% (44)
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