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 working for the Baltimore Sun
, the Asian Wall Street Journal
, and Newsweek
. Using newly available material from Russian and Chinese sources, Martin offers surprising insights into the career and character of both Kim Il-Sung and his son, Kim Jong-Il. He strives, albeit with moderate success, to unveil the reality from the mounds of myth and distortions with which both men have surrounded themselves. But Martin's account is most chilling in his descriptions of contemporary North Korean society. And yet, as Martin eloquently illustrates in this important book, the control of the Kim dynasty may well be tenuous. Jay FreemanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader is, from all I have read, simply the best book ever written about North Korea. Relying largely on extensive interviews with defectors, Martin portrays North Korean life with a clarity that is stunning, and he captures the paradoxes in North Korean public opinion."--Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Review of Books
"Martin's massive book provides as useful a set of insights into life in North Korea as can be found anywhere."
- L.A. Times Review
"As an AP correspondent covering South Korea in the 1970s, I learned quickly how difficult it was to discover any reliable information about that secretive, threatening regime to the north. Brad Martin's book is testimony to the thoroughness of his work, and the high level of his ability as a journalist and researcher.
" North Korea is one of the least known, least understood countries in the world. Its leaders have always been enigmas, both frightening and fascinating, but almost impossible to decipher. Again today, it becomes vitally important that we do both, yet there is almost nothing of importance being written about the subject. Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader is important, as well as fascinating. The research is impeccable, the writing excellent. This is a major and timely contribution, and essential to anyone who hopes to deal sensibly with a vital region of the world."
-Terry Anderson, former AP correspondent and author of Den of Lions
"Brad Martin's Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader, a careful, penetrating analysis of North Korea, is more than just a book. Given the levels of secrecy which surround the Pyongyang regime and the danger it poses to its neighbors, Martin has rendered a considerable service to us all."
-bestselling author, David Halbertstam
"Brad Martin's book on North Korea is at once enlightening and frightening. It is lucid in writing, balanced in analysis, and comprehensive in its meticulous research and anecdotal evidence. The detailed exposition of the narrow life of luxury and the devious character of the 'Dear Leader,' Kim Jong-il, is scary. So is the description of North Korea as a corrupt, secretive, stagnant fief of the Kim family. Brad Martin, with his long years as a Pyongyang-watcher, is eminently qualified to write a book that should strip away any illusions America and the West have about Kim's dangerous regime."
-Richard Halloran, former correspondent for The New York Times in Asia and Washington, D.C.