- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Melville House; Reprint edition (December 20, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1935554344
- ISBN-13: 978-1935554349
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 82 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters Paperback – December 20, 2011
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"Electrifying... finely argued and brilliantly written." —Christopher Hitchens, Slate
"Provocative... A fascinating analysis." —Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"[A] scary... close reading of domestic propaganda [that] goes a long way toward explaining the erratic behavior and seemingly bizarre thought processes of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il." —The Wall Street Journal
"Myers' book is worth buying and reading." —The Quarterly Review
"The definitive book on the subject." —The Atlantic
"There are few books that can give the world a peek into the Hermit Kingdom.The Cleanest Race provides a reason to care about how those in North Korea see themselves and the West. It is possibly the best addition to that small library of books on North Korean ideology."
—Andrei Lankov, Far Eastern Economic Review
"Myers renders great service to the global foreign policy establishment with his lucid and well documented profile of the North Korean polity. If only it were made mandatory reading for all the stakeholder leaders, particularly the American establishment, who feel compelled to deal politically with North Korea. Maybe then, Myers' wisdom might lead them to adopt the only possibly policy toward North Korea that will work: that of 'benign neglect.'"
—Mike Gravel, US Senate 1969-1981
"In his new survey of North Korean propaganda, The Cleanest Race, B.R. Myers insists that the ongoing support of the North Korean public for the regime doesn't reflect any great faith in communism. Instead, he argues, it is rooted in a kind of paranoid racial nationalism adapted from the Japanese fascism that flourished before World War II.... Myers feels that the racialism at the heart of the regime's ideology will sustain it even as it fails to provide the prosperity it promises."
—Laura Miller, Salon.com
"The text offers a clear picture of the peculiar worldview of this profoundly inward-facing country, its character and continuous subtle alterations, and its under-appreciated ramifications in world affairs." —Reference & Research Book News
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
B.R. Myers was born in New Jersey and raised in Bermuda, South Africa and Germany. He has a Ph.D. in North Korean Studies from the University of Tübingen in Germany. His books include Han Sorya and North Korean Literature (Cornell East Asia Series, 1994) and A Reader’s Manifesto (Melville House, 2002). At present he directs the international studies department at Dongseo University in South Korea. In addition to writing literary criticism for the American magazine The Atlantic, of which he is a contributing editor, Myers regularly contributes articles on North Korea to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and academic publications.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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Myers traces the government narrative of Korea back to the Japanese colonial era and earlier.
This is another book with fascinating research that sheds much light on the motivation and belief systems of todays Koreans, and the legacy of racism and xenephobia that has been encouraged and manipulated by its leaders for centuries.
This book provides much insight into the ROK as well as the DPRK. The same racial myths permeate both societies. The only difference is that the South is changing, while the north is trapped with attitudes that belong to prehistory.
For me, this book was a wake-up call. Not that I was even totally asleep - I like to stay on top of things going on in North Korea, and have done more than the average person to try to answer questions behind the implications of the state of the country on South Korea and the US. That said, it's really easy to doze off. Even their random acts of belligerence and irrational behavior at the negotiating table has become almost predictable and monotonous. Many have simply assumed that they know everything they need to know about North Korea to make an educated decision on how to deal with the country.
This book makes a case for a different perspective on the country and delivers it in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. At the very least, the book sheds light on the complexity of the situation and the necessity for sustained interest in North Korea's affairs.
An absolutely fascinating read and I would recommend it to anyone that would like to better understand the psychology of the people of the real Hermit Kingdom.