Blaine Harden is an author and journalist whose most recent book is King of Spies. It's the untold story of U.S. Air Force Major Donald Nichols, an intelligence agent who operated in Korea for 11 secret years with his own army of spies, his own base, and his own murderous rules. The book sheds new light on the U.S. role in the Korean War. More importantly, it explains—at a time when North Korea is threatening the U.S. with long-range nuclear missiles—the origins of an intractable foreign policy mess.
Blaine's previous book, The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, was chosen by Amazon as one of the best books of 2015. It won a 2016 citation from the Overseas Press Club of America for non-fiction books on international affairs. The book tells the story of how North Korea's Great Leader, Kim Il Sung, grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force played a high-risk game of deception. After years of planning, the fighter pilot fled North Korea in a MiG-15, Russia's hottest fighter jet, and made a life in the United States.
Blaine is also the author of Escape From Camp 14, a New York Times and international bestseller that has been translated into 28 languages. It's the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born and raised in a North Korean prison camp to escape to the West. Escape from Camp 14 won the 2012 Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique, a French literary award, was a nonfiction finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was featured on 60 Minutes.
Blaine contributes to the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, PBS Frontline and The Economist. A longtime foreign correspondent, he worked for The Washington Post in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in New York and Seattle. He was also a roving national reporter for The New York Times and writer for the Times Magazine.
Blaine is also the author of A River Lost. It's about well-intentioned Americans (including the author's father) who dammed and degraded the West's greatest river, the Columbia. The New York Times called it a "hard-nosed, tough-minded, clear-eyed dispatch on the sort of contentious subject that is almost always distorted by ideology or obscured by a fog of sentiment." An updated and revised edition of A River Lost was published in 2012 to coincide with a PBS American Experience program about Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia River.
Blaine's first book, Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent, was described by The Independent (London) as the "best contemporary book on Africa."
Blaine lives in Seattle with his wife Jessica and their two children, Lucinda and Arno.