- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2005
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
From Publishers Weekly
One of the few reporters to have firsthand experience of North Korea, veteran Asian correspondent Becker (Hungry Ghosts) adds more nuance to a familiar story that the threat of nuclear arms, as well as the world's fifth largest standing army, are part of an attempt to force the rest of the globe to cater to a mad leader's megalomaniacal world. Becker presents a well-fed, unprepossessing Kim Jong Il running North Korea with a cult of personality unmatched in contemporary history, reducing his population to starving anonymous actors in a bizarre personal psychodrama, where "even the mere idea of internal opposition to Kim's rule is regarded as preposterous." Images of this grim state of affairs—which goes well beyond the Orwellian into the Kafkaesque—have been smuggled out over the past few years; how they came to be is described with rare concision by Becker: the Kim dynasty's poisonous and potent blend of Stalinist doctrine and Korean absolutism found its catalysts, he argues, in the varying ambitions of Japan, China and the U.S. While stopping short of calling for immediate regime change, Becker minces no words in warning that we may now have no way out of a monstrous situation. 16 b&w photos not seen by PW. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Along with Iran, North Korea persists as the greatest U.S. foreign-policy dilemma. With a huge conventional army and, apparently, a growing supply of nuclear weapons, the "rogue" regime of Kim Jong Il is a threat to our Asian allies; with the continued development of long-range missiles, it could even threaten the continental U.S. Becker, a foreign correspondent with substantial experience in East Asia, has written a frightening and depressing account of both the domestic and foreign policies of a society and government that are an affront to the human spirit. Like all totalitarians, Kim Jong IL seems to regard his people as clay playthings to be molded as he pursues his grandiose visions. The result is a slave state in which political repression and control are absolute and starvation is rampant. Becker asserts that "regime change" may prove to be the only viable option. However, as he indicates in a scenario that opens the book, that too is fraught with grave danger. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
Without advocating against appeasement outright, the author demonstrates how the Kims have always played South Korean and Western hopes against us to their great advantage. It is hard to imagine why anyone would want to promote conciliatory methods to reunification like the Sunshine Policy. After all, sunshine itself is the result of a nuclear explosion.
The book is well written and explores the horrific conditions North Koreans endure as well as the Machiavellian manner that Jong Il treats those close to him.
Becker derives most of his information from interviews with North Koreans who have escaped, but also uses military intel and his own travels there to craft a startling picture.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in NK (I'd also be remiss if I didn't ferverently recommend "Aquariums of Pyongyang, one of the finest books ever written on this subject.)
One caveat comes to mind however: The opening chapter examining what might occur in case of a military strike against NK is just down right hokey, and I'd implore the reader to carry on as it gets much better.
However, "Rogue Regime" was phenomenal. Becker illuminates the Kafkaesque nightmare that is North Korea in lucid prose. And it is a mesmorizing review. What makes it so fascinating is obviously the subject matter. Humanity is simply witnessing one of the most appallingly diabolical and corrupt regimes in history. Becker's accomplishment here was to capture the crushing insanity of it all. I have read this book twice now and some chapters four times. If you enjoy books covering historical and political events, this book should be at the top of your list.
The history of the Kim regime given here is first rate, but the bizarre introduction with the barely credible scenario spinning of a nuclear attack from the north, stretches credulity and begs the question of what the kind of scholarship this book really was intended to be: Was it intended as be just another anti-North Korea polemic and screed, or was it intended as a piece of sound political science and history? For this reader at least, even at the end of the book that question remained an open one.
Since the Kim regime is such an exceedingly easy target to "pick on," painting a grotesque and depressing picture of that reality, is insufficient in itself to raise the book to the level of serious history or serious political science. However, carefully tracing the history of the development of the country of North Korea - as an afterthought of Stalinism - to Kim's "cult of personality" could not have been more informative, more revealing, or even better done.
Among other things, and certainly in deep relief, it demonstrates the utter artificiality of the concept of a nation state itself: The Kim Il Sungs, Stalins, Pol Pots, Saddam Husseins and Hitlers simply represent one end of a spectrum that begins with cults of personality and weakly justifiable racial ideologies and ends with less obvious and less transparent nations organized around equally tribal, economic and religious myths. Certainly the best of nations are different only in degree and not in kind from the monstrosity that is North Korea.
Once the book stops its implicit backhanded self-congratulatory stance of how great our Western democracies are in comparison to North Korea, and come to the full realization of how small the overall objective distance really is between these monstrosities and the best the nation-state has to offer, only then can we take a healthy and sober pause and say there is still work to be done, not just in the North Koreas of the world but in all of the "so called" free nations as well.
Most recent customer reviews
Although it suffers a little from some editing quirks, it's a great "can't-put-it-down" read.Read more