Kim Il-song's North Korea
Hunter provides a glimpse inside North Korean society, detailing the everyday life of people living in perhaps the most isolated, secretive society of the 20th century. In this declassified CIA study, she describes the world's most extreme cult society under the charismatic totalitarian leader, Kim Il-song, who ruled his people for 45 years-longer than any other leader of the 20th century. Kim Il-song's totalitarian cult society comes closest to George Orwell's 1984 than any society yet contrived. Hunter brings to life what it is like to live in a thoroughly thought-controlled society-which also is the world's most class-conscious society. Based on all the sources available to the CIA at the time, this book is the most comprehensive look at North Korean life ever published. It is essential reading for foreign policy officials, Asian Studies scholars, and the general public interested in world affairs.
- Hardback | 296 pages
- 160.53 x 240.79 x 27.43mm | 603.28g
- 30 Apr 1999
- Praeger Publishers Inc
- Westport, United States
- Illustrations, map
Table of contents
Foreword Introduction The Twin Pillars of Society Songbun The Cult of Kim Il-song The Kim Il-song Man: Good Songbun and Dedication to Kim Kim's Blueprint For Life: From the Cradle to the Grave Family Life Children: "Living Like Kings and Queens" The Teenage Years: A Rude Awakening Leisure Activities Romance Hoodlums The Long Years in the Military The Women Left Behind Marriage Working to Death: An Exhausted Population The Dream versus Reality Pyongyang: Kim's Dream City The Privileged Life Real Life Consumer Goods and Services Personal Savings Housing Education Health Care Epilogue Selected Bibliography Index
"Thanks to efforts by former Sen. Stephen J. Solarz and others, Hunter's exhaustive study was finally declassified and published in the present form....Hunter deals with virtually every aspect of this regimented "Hermit Kingdom" of a nation."-The Register-Herald "This book gives insight into how a powerful and charismatic ruler can influence a strictly layered society and is valuable to any military professional studying Korea."-Military Review "One of the strengths of the book is its first chapter....She also does a good job of exaplaining the role of work and membership in a work unit membership impact family life and personal leisure....interesting read."-Korean Studies Book Reviews ?This book gives insight into how a powerful and charismatic ruler can influence a strictly layered society and is valuable to any military professional studying Korea.?-Military Review ?One of the strengths of the book is its first chapter....She also does a good job of exaplaining the role of work and membership in a work unit membership impact family life and personal leisure....interesting read.?-Korean Studies Book Reviews ?Thanks to efforts by former Sen. Stephen J. Solarz and others, Hunter's exhaustive study was finally declassified and published in the present form....Hunter deals with virtually every aspect of this regimented "Hermit Kingdom" of a nation.?-The Register-Herald "Let no one ever again say that we don't really know anything about North Korea. The key to the mystery of the 'Hermit Kingdom' is now in print."-From the foreword by Stephen J. Solarz Former U.S. Congressman "Helen Louise Hunter's perceptive analysis of her in-depth discussions with defectors from North Korea contains valuable sociological information and insights not available elsewhere concerning life there during the Kim Il-song period. This book is a significant historical record that will be of continuing interest to scholars during the present period of change opening up in North Korea."-Selig S. Harrison Fellow The Century Foundation "North Korea remains the world's most closed Stalinist society. We know very little about life in North Korea. It has only been possible to gain in-depth, detailed study of life in North Korea by working with defectors, and few people have had access to such defectors. Helen-Louise Hunter, then working for U.S. intelligence, conducted a very detailed, nuanced analysis of life in North Korea through defector interviewing. Happily her manuscript has now been declassified and is available to the public."-Ezra F. Vogel Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Harvard University "For many years I have referred to North Korea as America's longest-running intelligence failure. This was because I did not know about Helen-Louise Hunter's seminal study, Kim Il- song's North Korea. With its declassification and publication, a quantum leap forward has been made in raising our national knowledgeability of the Pyongyang regime. This book will be of great assistance to all those who will be working carefully to bring North Korea out of its dangerous isolation and into more normal relationships with the outside world. This is a work that CIA can truly be proud of."-Donald P. Gregg Ambassador to South Korea 1989-1993
About Helen-Louise Hunter
HELEN-LOUISE HUNTER is an attorney who has engaged in private practice with an large international law firm in Washington, D.C. and has served as Permanent Law Clerk in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland./e For more than 20 years, she was a Far East specialist at the CIA. In the late 1970s, she served as the Assistant National Intelligence Officer for the Far East.