North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea

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McFarland, Jan 10, 2014 - Social Science - 358 pages
The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea for over 60 years. Most of that period has found the country suffering under mature Stalinism characterized by manipulation, brutality and tight social control. Nevertheless, some citizens of Kim Jong Il’s regime manage to transcend his tyranny in their daily existence. This book describes that difficult but determined existence and the world that the North Koreans have created for themselves in the face of oppression. Many features of this world are unique and even bizarre. But they have been created by the citizens to reflect their own ideas and values, in sharp contrast to the world forced upon them by a totalitarian system. Opening chapters introduce the political system and the extent to which it permeates citizens’ daily lives, from the personal status badges they wear to the nationalized distribution of the food they eat. Chapters discussing the schools, the economic system, and family life dispel the myth of the workers’ paradise that North Korea attempts to perpetuate. In these chapters the intricacies of daily life in a totalitarian dictatorship are seen through the eyes of defectors whose anecdotes constitute an important portion of the material. The closing chapter treats at length the significant changes that have taken place in North Korea over the last decade, concluding that these changes will lead to the quiet but inevitable death of North Korean Stalinism. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
 

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Review: North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea

User Review  - David Sims - Goodreads

A collection of newspaper column-style essays to take along on the Kindle for ten or fifteen-minute waits somewhere. Read full review

Review: North of the DMZ: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea

User Review  - Valentin Ivanov - Goodreads

It is repetitive at times, although that is to be expected from a book, which is essentially a collection of essays. However, it describes well the North Korean life and situation and, in my opinion ... Read full review

Contents

Part 1 Leaders Dear and Great
7
Part 2 In Times of Propaganda
33
Part 3 The Arts and the Media
49
Part 4 The Workers Paradise? The Social Structure of the DPRKA Rank
66
Part 5 Pyongyang
77
Part 6 Daily Lives
96
Part 7 Recreation and Fashion
115
Part 8 Family Matters
125
Part 12 Schools
212
Part 13 Its Economics
219
Part 14 Foreign Affairs
241
Part 15 On Spying Smuggling and Kidnapping
256
Part 16 North Koreans Overseas Foreigners in North Korea
278
Part 17 Defectors
286
Part18 The Unnoticed Death of North Korean Stalinism
305
In Lieu of Conclusion
327

Part 9 All Things Which Move
141
Part 10 Big Brother Is Watching
170
Part 11 How Does the System Work?
190
Further Reading
331
Index
337
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About the author (2014)

Andrei Lankov is a senior lecturer at the Australian National University.

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