Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader North Korea and the Kim Dynasty Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader offers in depth portraits of North Korea s two ruthless and bizarrely Orwellian leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Lifting North Korea s curtain of self

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  • Title: Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty
  • Author: Bradley K. Martin
  • ISBN: 9780312322212
  • Page: 445
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader offers in depth portraits of North Korea s two ruthless and bizarrely Orwellian leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Lifting North Korea s curtain of self imposed isolation, this book will take readers inside a society, that to a Westerner, will appear to be from another planet Subsisting on a diet short on food grains and lonUnder the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader offers in depth portraits of North Korea s two ruthless and bizarrely Orwellian leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Lifting North Korea s curtain of self imposed isolation, this book will take readers inside a society, that to a Westerner, will appear to be from another planet Subsisting on a diet short on food grains and long on lies, North Koreans have been indoctrinated from birth to follow unquestioningly a father son team of megalomaniacs To North Koreans, the Kims are than just leaders Kim Il Sung is the country s leading novelist, philosopher, historian, educator, designer, literary critic, architect, general, farmer, and ping pong trainer Radios are made so they can only be tuned to the official state frequency Newspapers are filled with endless columns of Kim speeches and propaganda And instead of Christmas, North Koreans celebrate Kim s birthday and he presents each child a present, just like Santa The regime that the Kim Dynasty has built remains technically at war with the United States nearly a half century after the armistice that halted actual fighting in the Korean War This fascinating and complete history takes full advantage of a great deal of source material that has only recently become available some from archives in Moscow and Beijing , and brings the reader up to the tensions of the current day For as this book will explain, North Korea appears and to be the greatest threat among the Axis of Evil countries with some defector testimony warning that Kim Jong Il has enough chemical weapons to wipe out the entire population of South Korea.

    One thought on “Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty”

    1. After I read Nothing to Envy, a book about six ordinary people in North Korea, I was even more intrigued about this secretive country. I reserved Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader at the library. I was so surprised to see a 700-page book (with 100 pages of footnotes) waiting for me. No way would I read such a thick book, but I decided to check it out anyway and maybe skim parts of it. Wrong. I am reading every page and can't wait to get back to it every chance I get. Bradley Martin is [...]

    2. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most Americans think of North Korea as a wacky punchline, if they think of it at all. This is really unfortunate because North Korea has such a sad story, like Haiti-level sad. Of course, since North Korea is one of the most secretive societies on Earth, if not the most, it's difficult for anyone to really try to educate themselves on it, but Bradley Martin has done an astonishing amount of research, and if anyone qualifies as a "North Korea expert [...]

    3. So the new Pope recently went to South Korea and, with his haloed head turned towards the North, uttered a solemn prayer for peace and reconciliation. He was probably dreaming of something similar to what his predecessor John Paul did, in Europe, bringing down communist states with papal visits and prayers said out loud among ecstatic crowds.I do not think it'll be the same with North Korea, however. For out there, they have the same type of religions as the Pope. If Christians have the triumvir [...]

    4. (3.0) Tried to fit 3 or 4 different books into one, and it sufferedMy primary criticism of this book is that Martin didn't stay focused on one project. He starts off with a tertiary source historical account of North Korea since World War II. That's fine, and he adopts a very objective tone, citing arguments on both sides of many unanswered questions (at least in the West) about North Korea's policies and leaders. We then shift into defectors' narratives, along the lines of Nothing to Envy: Ordi [...]

    5. I didn't realize how HUGE this book was when I got it, but I decided to give it a go. I couldn't put it down. I've always been hungry for more information about North Korea. This book satisfied many of my curiosities, but more impressively, opened up many other areas of interest I would like to study in relation to North Korea. It's also a good mix of interviews, anecdotes and straight-up facts. Not sure this is a 5-star book for everyone, but it was for me.

    6. This was an excellent read! Off the cuff, I will tell you that Mr. Martin pulls the "lazy journalist" trick by filling the last few hundred pages with transcriptions of a conversation between him and more than several NK defectors. If you are a giant weirdo, one thing you may do is read as many books about NK as you possibly can. This book fills in a huge gap in my reading of the DPRK. Basically, everything so far has covered the present situation, with very little by way of the history of the D [...]

    7. From Under different circumstances, North Korea could be the subject of a Marx Brothers satire, with the elements of a pompous, ego-driven patriarch, a worshipful population, and a general aura of fantasy and illusion. But North Korea has a superbly equipped million-man army and an expanding nuclear weapons program. So this comprehensive examination of this totalitarian society and the two men who have dominated it is often terrifying. For a quarter century, Martin has covered North Korea while [...]

    8. A few months ago, I reread 1984 and wondered whether such a society could survive. The answer is yes. Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il have done it. The personality cult is indeed a cult. It's like the whole nation is David Koresh's compound. We are not going to know the full truth about North Korean life until it falls, but until that happy day, Martin has set the standard for books about this crazy country. He has synthesized everything from the ghost-written memoirs of Kim Il-Sung to the testimony [...]

    9. An interesting but uneven account of the post-WWII history of North Korea and the Kim regime. The author has had extensive exposure to the North Korean government and has a lot of keen insights into how the government functioned or didn't function.

    10. This was the other book recommended to me at the same time as The Cleanest Race, but it took me much longer to get to just because of its size. Almost a thousand pages, though admittedly with nearly a hundred pages of footnotes, took a bit for me to work up to, but I'm glad I did and I recommend this book to anyone whose view of North Korea is formed mostly by Best Korea memes and pictures of Kim Jong-il looking at things. The main impression that Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader gav [...]

    11. Despite being flawed in certain aspects, Martin's work is an interesting one. Even though it brings us "new" information from the northern wasteland of the Korean peninsula, at times I found this book hard to read. Is the DPRK totalitarian? Certainly. Is the DPRK's economy dead? Without question. These questions were never in doubt. To this, I feel Mr. Martin has only added a level of gossip as to why this has occured. Are defectors testimonies important? Certainly. However can a junior officer' [...]

    12. This is an interesting read. Unfortunately, it lacks structure. The author jumps back and forth from biographies of the Kims, history of North Korea, observations and reflections from his journeys, interviews with refugees and anecdotes. Most of the chapter titles don't tell you anything at all about what the chapter is going to be about. Generally, the book follows a chronological order, but I found that there are many things in between that I was not very interested in and had rather skipped. [...]

    13. A very good book, albeit with a few flaws that keep it off my list of elite-level nonfiction. This is a topic I've wanted to learn more about for a while and certainly filled in some gaps in my historical and cultural knowledge.As far as the nit-picking:- I don't usually call for books to be shorter, but this one could have used a bit of trimming. I certainly wanted to read interviews with defectors, but there were so many of them that it started to become repetitive.- I tend to like my big nonf [...]

    14. This is a good informative book about North Korean history, economy, politics and especially the Kim family up to the year 2004. It gave me many insights, I had not had before. It also thoroughly tried my patience. The first seven to ten chapters seemed to drag out endlessly in a much too detailed description of the Korean War and the utterly irrelevant experiences of the author's uncle as an American soldier in it. Add to that a much too detailed account of Kim Il-sungs early life as a partisan [...]

    15. This book is THICK and even at my pace, I'm only 650 pages through in about 3 weeks of reading. Regardless of whether you know/have an interest in Korea/Asia, the details it discusses on a closed, hermetic regime is a fascinating read

    16. It took my almost three months to get through just over 200 pages, then my computer went on the fritz and I finished the last 500 or so in less than a week.I was intimidated by the size and the compactness of the text at first, but Mr Martin has a real knack for making this comprehensive history understandable and interesting. It's really re-awakened my interest in the subject and I'm going to look to see if he's published anything else I might like.

    17. The result of decades of research and reporting, this is an exhaustive presentation of the author's thoughts on and experiences with North Korea. Its value would be greater if it were better organized and perhaps a bit less exhaustive - there are chapters that are nothing more than transcripts of interviews with refugees. Information and opinion are repeated again and again and again, making it impossible to find a coherent thread of analysis, much less narrative. The book really needs to be rut [...]

    18. So many stories from North Korean defectors, and other people / country trying to help, however to till now the country is still closed to the world. Kim's family must be so powerful to keep things in order to this date.

    19. If you have no friends like me and would like to know every single possible thing about North Korea up to the year 2005, this is the book for you.

    20. Highlights to me that it is often too simplistic to characterize someone as evil, often it simply requires an open perspective to consider the other side of a story.

    21. A staggering mass of well-presented information. I recommended anyone studying North Korea start with this book.

    22. My third attempt to read this long, dense book. At times fascinating, at others so full of names, ministries and statistics it was difficult to enjoy. Glad for having read it though.

    23. The bible of all North Korean studies. This book has to be read for any study of human rights abuses and political disasters

    24. It took a long time (2 kids under 2 years doesn't help), but I was determined to finish this. It is the deep, detailed non-fiction that I like and had a wealth of information about the Kim family. It got bogged down at times with multiple similar interviews with dissidents and defectors, but it was worthwhile in the end.

    25. Unless you, like me, are concerned about renewed war on the Korean Peninsula and curious about the ability of the ruling Kim dynasty to stay in power while they imprison, starve, and kill their people, you will find this an intimidating, even forbidding read. At 849 pages (with acknowledgments and index) it rivals William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for buik. Shirer, at least, had some facts to work with. The Nazis had been defeated, and the Allies had access to voluminous records. [...]

    26. The book was an interesting look into many aspects of North Korea. The author presents a mostly non-biased view to all things North Korea.Martin begins his book around roughly 1900 with early history of Kim Hyong-jik, the father of KIm Il-sung then proceeds with the history of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. From there, the book bounces around from defector testimony of daily life, politics, matters of economy, and daily troubles of North Koreans from peasants to the elite. The reader is bound to l [...]

    27. Interesting, comprehensive history of North Korea under the Kims. I'm kind of fascinated by North Korea, not least because so much of what people "know" about the country is based on guesswork and unreliable testimony. This is a long book, written over many years, and some parts are more interesting than others - all told, I felt like the parts about North Korea before Kim Il-Sung's death were more interesting than the later parts of the book about the 1990s famine and the greater economic freed [...]

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