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In Enemy Hands: A Prisoner in North Korea Paperback – November 4, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (November 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813109760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813109763
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,839,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When the Korean War broke out in June 1950, the author, a Methodist missionary in Kaesong City, was arrested by North Korean authorities, accused of ideological sabotage (teaching "a vicious ideology concerning a God that did not exist") and sent on a forced march comparable to the infamous Bataan episode in WW II. In his first-person account, Zellers devotes only a few words to his own ordeal, expanding instead on the struggle of fellow prisoners of many nationalities, especially those who were brave and unselfish, and on the intense psychological pressures imposed by their captors. He describes North Korean "reeducation" as a devastating experience and provides innumerable examples of kimilsungism at the rice-roots level. ("If you really believed what you taught," said one of his tormentors, "you would have a pistol and everyone would be required to listen.") Since the Orwellian aspect of North Korean politics has remained essentially unchanged over the last 40 years, this harrowing but inspiring account is especially absorbing. Repatriated in 1953, Zellers became a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and retired in 1975. Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Zellers, a newly married Methodist missionary, was captured by the North Koreans on June 25, 1950. From the first day of the "police action" to the last he, along with several other civilians, endured the most inhumane treatment imaginable, comparable to the Japanese treatment of American POWs on Bataan during World War II. Zellers was beaten, starved, and nearly executed out of hand on several occasions. Along with soldiers of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division, he was marched 120 miles through North Korea on a "Death March." Totally unprepared for the onset of winter, hundreds froze to death along the way. Zellers was finally imprisoned for the duration along the Chinese border. His compelling portrayal of his comrades and their experiences is a unique tale of civilians trapped in war. Recommended.
-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Very well written.
Donna Rountree
We learned more about the Korean War from this book than any textbook out there.
M. Smith
What an incredible story.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Larry Zellers, a newly married Methodist minister serving as a missionary and teacher in a small South Korean town near the 38th parallel, was taken prisoner in the early days of the Korean War. He and his fellow prisoners were American combat soldiers who were the very first to arrive in Korea from bases in Japan. The youngest among them had received only minimal combat training. All of the mean were inadequately trained and furnished with sometimes malfunctioning weapons. After being taken prisoner by the North Koreans, the men suffered incredible hardships of cold, hunger, physical abuse, lack of medical attention, fatigue, fear isolation, and intimidation. In Enemy Hands is Zellers' first-hand story of his captivity from June 25, 1950 to his release in 1953. Throughout his personal account Zellers shows that, despite the opinion that POWs live only for themselves, many in the camps worked to help others and conducted themselves with honor. Zellers became a U.S. Air Force chaplain after his release. In Enemy Hands is a valued, important, biographical contribution to the growing body of Korean War literature and a much appreciated contribution to any academic, public library military history collection.
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By M. Smith on October 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We homeschool and wanted some good books/biographies about the Korean War. This book is a jewel. It is about a Methodist minister held as a POW for three years by the N. Koreans and Chinese. The author makes you feel like you are right there with him in the POW camps. He incorporates so much knowledge of the country of Korea, geography,politics of the day, and the mind set of the communist N. Korean way of thinking and what happens to POW's physically as well as emotionally. My dad served in N. Korea and I came away from this book with a greater respect for what my dad and his commrades must have witnessed in this "Forgotten War".

It does not have any bad language but his discription of the death march is very real and heartbreaking. We learned more about the Korean War from this book than any textbook out there.
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Format: Hardcover
Very well written. I opened the book to the middle to just see what I'd purchased and couldn't put it down for several pages. Painfully detailed account of the death march.
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