From the Inside Flap
When it comes to information, North Korea is a black hole. Those living there have no idea what's happening in the rest of the world, while those on the outside are forever unsuccessfully trying to get a glimpse of what's going on within. And at the very center of this void is a man best known for his goose-stepping military parades and clownish macho swagger: Kim Jong-il.
In order to understand North Korea, you need to understand the figure who has come to represent it, both internally and around the globe. In Kim Jong-il: North Korea's Dear Leader, Revised and Updated Edition, internationally renowned authority on Korean issues Michael Breen raises the curtain on the true nature of the man whose ability to simultaneously fascinate and terrify is as remarkable as it is alarming.
Addressing common myths and fallaciesincluding the mistaken belief that Kim was primed to inherit the Presidency from his father from childhoodKim Jong-il sheds light on the "Dear Leader's" hold over a country ravaged by poverty and famine. Filled with North Korean history, personal anecdotes, and fascinating insights into this nation of twenty-three million people and the man who controls them, this new edition is packed with rare photographs of Kim and his regime, giving readers unprecedented access to the well-known but little-understood despot.
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR KIM JONG-IL: NORTH KOREA'S DEAR LEADER WHO HE IS, WHAT HE WANTS, WHAT TO DO ABOUT HIM
"Kim Jong-Il: North Korea's Dear Leader is a fascinating tour through the tortured history of North Korea and the mind of Kim Jong-il. A must-read for all those trying to understand what is happening in the hermit kingdom and what is now one of the most unstable places on earth. The potential for a miscalculation is breathtaking in its dangers to us all." Mike Moore former Director-General of WTO and former Prime Minister of New Zealand
"In Kim Jong-Il: North Korea's Dear Leader, Michael Breen provides what much of the world has been waiting for: an in-depth look at the dark and secret Korea of Kim Jong-il. His insights are revelatory, sophisticated, and plainly communicated. A testament to its accuracy, I doubt the book will see the light of day inside North Korea."Dan Briody author of the bestseller The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group
"Michael Breen's portrait of Kim Jong-il is a compelling psychoanalysis of the world's last Stalinist dictator. The book explains how Kim manages to maintain an iron grip over his poverty-stricken country while holding the world's only superpower to ransom with weapons of mass destruction. In parts the book reads like a black comedy, so bizarre is the regime it describes. Breen combines his eye for farce with a keen sensitivity to the plight of North Korea's 23 million oppressed and starving people. But he makes it clear that it is too simplistic to dismiss Kim as an evil madman. Breen shows how North Korea is an accident of history, trapped in a Cold War time warp from which Kim is unable to escape. A lively and accessible read."Andrew Ward Korea correspondent, Financial Times
"One can be free to hate him, but we must also learn more of the 'Fat Bastard' for he is unlikely to disappear however much we wish him to. Michael Breen has written an extremely timely, readable, and well-researched book to tell us who Kim Jong-il is and how best to deal with him." Tomohiko Taniguchi Editor-at-Large, Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.