The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot: A True Story about the Birth of Tyranny in North Korea (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Harden masterfully tells the story of good versus evil in this dual biography of two very different North Korean men. Told primarily in the time of the Korean War, this book gives us proper context as to why North Korea is so out of touch in today's world. This is an important story (just like Harden's previous "Escape From Camp 14") that shows the complexities of living under the brutal North Korean dictatorship.

— From Kalani

Description


Blaine Harden, New York Times-bestselling author of Escape From Camp 14, tells the riveting story of Kim Il Sung's rise to power and the young North Korean fighter pilot who dared to defy him.

In the aftermath of World War II, Kim Il Sung plunged North Korea into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception--and escape. As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok pretended to love his Great Leader. That is, until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly one million dollars today). The theft--just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953--electrified the world and incited Kim's bloody vengeance.

During the Korean War the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans. Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the roles of Mao and Stalin in Kim's shadowy rise, as well as from never-before-released U.S. intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world's longest-lasting totalitarian state.

About the Author


Blaine Harden is the author of Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent; A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia; and Escape from Camp 14. Africa won a PEN American Center citation for first book of nonfiction. Escape from Camp 14 was both a New York Times and an international bestseller published in twenty-seven languages. Harden lives in Seattle.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780143108023
ISBN-10: 0143108026
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: March 29th, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English