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North Korea confidential : private markets, fashion trends, prison camps, dissenters and defectors / Daniel Tudor & James Pearson.

By: Tudor, Daniel, 1982-.
Contributor(s): Pearson, James (Journalist) [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Rutland, Vermont ; Tuttle Publishing, [2015]Copyright date: ©2015Description: 192 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : colour illustrations ; 22 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780804844581; 0804844585.Subject(s): Korea (North) -- Social conditions -- 21st century | Korea (North) -- Economic conditions -- 21st century | Korea (North) -- History -- 21st centuryDDC classification: 951.93 Online resources: Contributor biographical information | Publisher description Summary: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors. North Korea is one of the most troubled societies on earth. The country's 24 million people live under a violent dictatorship led by a single family, which relentlessly pursues the development of nuclear arms, which periodically incites risky military clashes with the larger, richer, liberal South, and which forces each and every person to play a role in the "theater state" even as it pays little more than lip service to the wellbeing of the overwhelming majority. With this deeply anachronistic system eventually failed in the 1990s, it triggered a famine that decimated the countryside and obliterated the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people. However, it also changed life forever for those who survived. A lawless form of marketization came to replace the iron rice bowl of work in state companies, and the Orwellian mind control of the Korean Workers' Party was replaced for many by dreams of trade and profit. A new North Korea Society was born from the horrors of the era one that is more susceptible to outside information than ever before with the advent of k-pop and video-carrying USB sticks. This is the North Korean society that is described in this book. In seven fascinating chapters the authors explore what life is actually like in modern North Korea today for the ordinary "man and woman on the street." They interview experts and tap a broad variety of sources to bring a startling new insider's view of North Korean society from members of Pyongyang's ruling families to defectors from different periods and regions, to diplomats and NGOs with years of experience in the country, to cross-border traders from neighboring China, and textual accounts appearing in English, Korean and Chinese sources. The resulting stories reveal the horror as well as the innovation and humor which abound in this fascinating country.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

**Named one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist **

Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors.

North Korea is one of the most troubled societies on earth. The country's 24 million people live under a violent dictatorship led by a single family, which relentlessly pursues the development of nuclear arms, which periodically incites risky military clashes with the larger, richer, liberal South, and which forces each and every person to play a role in the "theater state" even as it pays little more than lip service to the wellbeing of the overwhelming majority.

With this profoundly anachronistic system eventually failed in the 1990s, it triggered a famine that decimated the countryside and obliterated the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people. However, it also changed the lives of those who survived forever.

A lawless form of marketization came to replace the iron rice bowl of work in state companies, and the Orwellian mind control of the Korean Workers' Party was replaced for many by dreams of trade and profit. A new North Korea Society was born from the horrors of the era--one that is more susceptible to outside information than ever before with the advent of k-pop and video-carrying USB sticks. This is the North Korean society that is described in this book.

In seven fascinating chapters, the authors explore what life is actually like in modern North Korea today for the ordinary "man and woman on the street." They interview experts and tap a broad variety of sources to bring a startling new insider's view of North Korean society--from members of Pyongyang's ruling families to defectors from different periods and regions, to diplomats and NGOs with years of experience in the country, to cross-border traders from neighboring China, and textual accounts appearing in English, Korean and Chinese sources. The resulting stories reveal the horror as well as the innovation and humor which abound in this fascinating country.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors. North Korea is one of the most troubled societies on earth. The country's 24 million people live under a violent dictatorship led by a single family, which relentlessly pursues the development of nuclear arms, which periodically incites risky military clashes with the larger, richer, liberal South, and which forces each and every person to play a role in the "theater state" even as it pays little more than lip service to the wellbeing of the overwhelming majority. With this deeply anachronistic system eventually failed in the 1990s, it triggered a famine that decimated the countryside and obliterated the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people. However, it also changed life forever for those who survived. A lawless form of marketization came to replace the iron rice bowl of work in state companies, and the Orwellian mind control of the Korean Workers' Party was replaced for many by dreams of trade and profit. A new North Korea Society was born from the horrors of the era one that is more susceptible to outside information than ever before with the advent of k-pop and video-carrying USB sticks. This is the North Korean society that is described in this book. In seven fascinating chapters the authors explore what life is actually like in modern North Korea today for the ordinary "man and woman on the street." They interview experts and tap a broad variety of sources to bring a startling new insider's view of North Korean society from members of Pyongyang's ruling families to defectors from different periods and regions, to diplomats and NGOs with years of experience in the country, to cross-border traders from neighboring China, and textual accounts appearing in English, Korean and Chinese sources. The resulting stories reveal the horror as well as the innovation and humor which abound in this fascinating country.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction (p. 7)
  • Thanks and Acknowledgments (p. 11)
  • Chapter 1 The North Korean Markets: How They Work, Where They Are, and How Much Things Cost (p. 15)
  • Chapter 2 Leisure Time in North Korea (p. 47)
  • Chapter 3 Who Is in Charge? (p. 85)
  • Chapter 4 Crime and Punishment in North Korea (p. 111)
  • Chapter 5 Clothes, Fashion, and Trends (p. 129)
  • Chapter 6 Communications (p. 145)
  • Chapter 7 Social Division (p. 161)
  • Epilogue Will North Korea Collapse? (p. 177)
  • Index (p. 181)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Rather than describing a gray, economically stagnant, and totalitarian society dominated by dictator Kim Jong Un, veteran journalists and coauthors Tudor and Pearson paint a vivid portrait of how North Korea functions by opportunistic entrepreneurism abetted by bribery. After the North Korean economy and government failed in the 1990s, most of the population, from ordinary citizens to upper-level bureaucrats, survived by hustling-buying, selling, and stealing from the government-beneath the illusion of dictatorial control. To own many consumer products all one needs is foreign currency, such as the Chinese yuan. Bribes will solve most problems, except political challenges to the Kim regime. That, the authors recognize, is extremely dangerous and results in incarceration in the very large and very brutal North Korean penal system. Opportunity and self-reliance characterize the North Korea that Tudor and Pearson portray, an economy and society functioning unofficially beneath the façade of Kim Jong Un's protection racket. Having survived the 1990s collapse, the fall of the Soviet Union, and by adapting to this unauthorized and thriving economy, the North Korean regime has shown a remarkable ability to survive, and the authors expect it will continue to be resilient. VERDICT Documented through extensive travel in the country and interviews with North Korean defectors, this important book will appeal to anyone interested in Korean and East Asian affairs.-Mark Jones, Mercantile Lib., Cincinnati © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Veteran voice actor Perkins's straightforward narration leads listeners through this study of everyday experiences of the 24 million North Koreans living under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-un. The authors readily admit that reporting on North Korea is a challenge given the wall of secrecy, isolation, and fear that surrounds the country and its inhabitants; still, they manage to draw out a few tantalizing glimpses into everyday life-such as how the government dictates the hairstyles and clothing choices for its populace, with deviations from prescribed looks potentially resulting in prison time. Perkins delivers the information in a clear voice, but the book-which is more sociological study than nonfiction narrative-offers no individual story lines and little in the way of emotional weight. As a result, listeners are confronted with a steady stream of names, cities, dates, and other facts. Perkins works well with what he has, but the source material's dryness is hard to overcome. A Tuttle hardcover. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.