Nothing to Envy Book Review

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Nothing to Envy 2/15/11

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Koreans who have experienced a great deal of hardship and turmoil living under one of the most notorious communist regimes. Throughout the years these North Koreans lived through the death of their great Kim Il-Sung, the rise to power of his successor Kim Jong-Il, and the horrific famine that has left many in despair. Although North Korea is constantly in the news globally it is surprising to realize little is known about the country itself. Communist dictatorship has shut out the North part of the Korean peninsula from the outside world and has ruled with an iron fist. In the years following WWII Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong Il have created a society full of censorship, propaganda, and famines. Demick is a journalist who through interviewing defector’s of North Korea can shed light on communism and the many human rights violations that still ensues in North Korea. She works for the Los Angeles Times and moved to South Korea in order to report on the happenings between both North and South Korea. Although no contact could be made with North Koreans, especially for a foreigner, Demick was able to hear stories from defectors over the years. The real face of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea began to surface with the descriptions given by defectors now living in South Korea. North Korea still to this day blanketed from the western world and its capitalist ways. All media from the outside world is censored and manipulated in order to brainwash North Koreans into thinking they live in a prosperous nation unlike the enemies, South Korea and the U.S. Even as children, communism and socialism is entrenched in their minds. Kim Il-Sung was and still is, revered as their grand marshal and Father. Although, living conditions rivaled that of 3rd world countries, citizens were fed propaganda telling them to endure and march on. There were

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