- Unknown Binding
- Publisher: latest edition (2010)
- ASIN: B005D60TQ6
- Average Customer Review: 84 customer reviews
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The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves--And Why It Matters
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I found the first part boring and felt it lead to nowhere but after about 1/3rd of the book it became very interesting. I found it interesting, well written and definitely another take on why - and I believe it.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the writers tongue-in-cheek way of writing. It is seriously subtle.
At the core of the book is Meyers' thoughtful examination of decades of North Korean propaganda, from its founding by Kim Il Sung in 1945 right up to 2009 reports of Kim Jong Il's ill-health, concerns about a possible succession crisis, and relations with the US. Meyers' thesis is that the ideological basis of the North Korean state is paranoid rascist nationalism. He argues that outsider observers who see North Korea as the last Stalinist state or as an amalgam of Confuscism and Socialism may misunderstand Pyongyang's motives and actions. His conclusions bode poorly for current denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.
Propaganda is notoriously difficult to disect from the outside, especially when a pragmatic state plays one theme to its citizens and another to its enemies. Experienced observers of North Korea may therefore find much of interest in the book without necessarily agreeing with the author's every conclusion. "The Cleanest Race" is highly recommended to students of the Pyongyang regime as an insightful look at a closed society.