OVERRIDE

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader

North Korea and the Kim Dynasty

Bradley K. Martin

St. Martin's Griffin

This unprecedented study offers detailed portraits of North Korea's two ruthless and bizarrely Orwellian leaders, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il: a father-son team of megalomaniacs. In so doing, Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader fully documents a culture, society, political structure, economic history, and national hierarchy—the seven-decade development of an entire country—that will fascinate and perhaps confound Western students and scholars.

To North Koreans, we find, the Kims are more than just leaders. Kim Il-Sung is the country's leading novelist, philosopher, historian, educator, designer, literary critic, architect, general, farmer, and ping-pong trainer. Radios in North Korea are manufactured so that they can only be tuned to the official state frequency. Newspapers are filled with endless columns of Kim speeches and propaganda. And instead of Christmas, North Koreans celebrate Kim's birthday—during which he presents each child with a present, just like Santa.

The regime that the Kim Dynasty has built remains technically at war with the United States nearly fifty years after the armistice that halted actual fighting in the Korean War. This engrossing, well-researched, and complete history, the work of a widely respected journalist, draws on a great deal of source material that has only recently become available (some from archives in Moscow and Beijing), and thus brings us all the way up to the tensions behind today's headlines. Defectors say Kim Jong-Il now has—in addition to nuclear bombs—enough chemical weapons to wipe out the entire population of South Korea. Under the circumstances, Martin cautions, negotiation is far more promising than the highly risky alternative of forcible regime change.

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Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader
ONETo the City of the God-KingReading about the personality cult of the North Korean leader had not fully prepared me for what I found when I arrived in Pyongyang in April 1979, as a member of the first large contingent of Americans to visit since the Korean War. Since I was encountering an economy and society almost unimaginably different from any I had known, the stay was full of surprises. But next to the astonishing all-pervasiveness of leader-worship the rest seemed mere detail.Everyone sprinkled his speech with straight-faced references to "our
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REVIEWS

Praise for Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader

"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.

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Bradley K. Martin

  • Bradley K. Martin has covered Korea and other parts of Asia as a journalist for more than a quarter century and has worked as bureau chief for The Baltimore Sun, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Asia Times (for which he wrote a "Pyongyang Watch" column). He has has made five reporting trips to North Korea, a degree of access to the secretive country that few American journalists can match. He is currently based in Tokyo as a senior writer and Asia correspondent for Bloomberg Markets magazine.




  • Bradley K. Martin
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    Bradley K. Martin

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