The Great Leader And The Fighter Pilot: The True Story Of The Tyrant Who Created North Korea And…

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The Great Leader And The Fighter Pilot: The True Story Of The Tyrant Who Created North Korea And…

by Blaine Harden

Viking Adult | March 17, 2015 | Hardcover

The Great Leader And The Fighter Pilot: The True Story Of The Tyrant Who Created North Korea And The Young Lieutenant Who Stole His Way To is rated 3 out of 5 by 1.
From the bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14, the murderous rise of North Korea’s founding dictator and the fighter pilot who faked him out

In The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, New York Times bestselling author Blaine Harden tells the riveting story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception—and escape.

As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok noisily pretended to love his Great Leader. That is, until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly one million
dollars today). The theft—just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953—electrified the world and incited Kim’s bloody vengeance.

During the Korean War the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans.

Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the role of Mao and Stalin in Kim’s shadowy rise, as well as from neverbefore- released U.S. intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding escape adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world’s longest-lasting totalitarian state.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 in

Published: March 17, 2015

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670016578

ISBN - 13: 9780670016570

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Plus an extra half star. I'm not one of the half-star complainers, but I just can't get to four on this while three is too low. All the action here is in the last third, which deals with a defection. Leading up to that are the parallel lives of Kim Il Sung and No Kum Sok during the birth of North Korea. This is interesting, but eventually drags. Could the No's defection have been told with more detail? Maybe. But information about North Korea is scant. Unearthing accurate detail about it sixty years ago is an impressive feat. So I understand that the sources probably shaped the balance of the story here. But it sometimes read like an author struggling to bulk out a dramatic personal story with some historical context. Nothing wrong with that. But it does slow things down a little.
Date published: 2014-11-08

– More About This Product –

The Great Leader And The Fighter Pilot: The True Story Of The Tyrant Who Created North Korea And…

by Blaine Harden

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 in

Published: March 17, 2015

Publisher: Viking Adult

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670016578

ISBN - 13: 9780670016570

From the Publisher

From the bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14, the murderous rise of North Korea’s founding dictator and the fighter pilot who faked him out

In The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, New York Times bestselling author Blaine Harden tells the riveting story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception—and escape.

As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok noisily pretended to love his Great Leader. That is, until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly one million
dollars today). The theft—just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953—electrified the world and incited Kim’s bloody vengeance.

During the Korean War the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans.

Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the role of Mao and Stalin in Kim’s shadowy rise, as well as from neverbefore- released U.S. intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding escape adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world’s longest-lasting totalitarian state.

About the Author

BLAINE HARDEN is the author of Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent; A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia; and Escape from Camp 14. Africa won a PEN American Center citation for first book of nonfiction. Escape from Camp 14 was both a New York Times and
an international bestseller published in twenty-seven languages. Harden lives in Seattle.

Editorial Reviews

Advance praise for The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot   "Blaine Harden takes us on a fascinating journey deep into the dark origins of the North Korean state, leavened by a stirring account of one young man''s courageous quest to escape it. Thoroughly transporting." —Daniel James Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat   “I could not put this book down. The interwoven stories of Kim Il-Sung and MiG fighter pilot No Kum Sok are carefully researched and artfully told. Harden shows how each man played the system to achieve his lifelong goal—in Kim''s case, the creation of a personality cult and oppressive regime, and in No''s case, defection from it. Harden succeeds in offering a unique lens on North Korean history and politics that offers something for both the general and expert readership.” —Dr. Victor Cha, Professor of Government and Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University; former National Security Council director for Asian affairs, 2004-7   “Having exposed the full horror of the North Korean gulag by telling the story of Shin Dong-hyuk’s escape from Camp 14, Blaine Harden now uses contrasting portraits of the founding tyrant Kim Il Sung and the young MiG pilot who flew to freedom six decades ago to explain how the monstrous political system of North Korea came into existence in the first place.  The result is a triumph of story-telling that brings history to life and explain
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