Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.5 × 5.7 × 0.8 in
Published: March 29, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0670023329
ISBN - 13: 9780670023325
Read from the Book
ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14 ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14 There is no “human rights issue” in this country, as everyone leads the most dignified and happy life. —[North] Korean Central News Agency, March 6, 2009 PREFACE A TEACHABLE MOMENT His first memory is an execution. He walked with his mother to a wheat field near the Taedong River, where guards had rounded up several thousand prisoners. Excited by the crowd, the boy crawled between adult legs to the front row, where he saw guards tying a man to a wooden pole. Shin In Geun was four years old, too young to understand the speech that came before that killing. At dozens of executions in years to come, he would listen to a supervising guard telling the crowd that the prisoner about to die had been offered “redemption” through hard labor, but had rejected the generosity of the North Korean government. To prevent the prisoner from cursing the state that was about to take his life, guards stuffed pebbles into his mouth, then covered his head with a hood. At that first execution, Shin watched three guards take aim. Each fired three times. The reports of their rifles terrified the boy and he fell over backward. But he scrambled to his feet in time to see guards untie a slack, blood-spattered body, wrap it in a blanket, and heave it into a cart. In Camp 14, a prison for the political enemies of North Korea, assemblies of more than two inmates were forbidden, except for executions. Everyone had
From the Publisher
A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.
North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin''s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.
In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin''s life unlocks the secrets of the world''s most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden''s harrowing narrative of Shin''s life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world''s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.
About the Author
Blaine Harden is a reporter for PBS''s FRONTLINE and a contributor to the Economist, and has served as The Washington Post''s bureau chief in East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. He is the author of Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent and A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
From Our Editors
INDIGO SPOTLIGHT: Shin's experience is no typical prison story of unjust arrest, descent into barbaric survival, and redemptive liberation. He is a man born into the prison system and conditioned to snitch on his own family. When he escapes and wanders into the world, the deep flaws of his personality emerge. But, while Shin's difficult story is unique, his experience is not. He stands for the hundred thousand prisoners living in largely forgotten labour camps that have outlasted the Soviet gulag and have no celebrity champion. He speaks for the 25 million North Koreans living in a country stuck in a technological and political Cold War time-warp. He is only able to tell his story because he had the luck and courage to cross the camp wire. His harsh prison life and improbable journey to freedom is sometimes hard to read. Nevertheless, Shin's story challenges us to cast our eyes over the darker parts of the world and consider the fragile boundary between barbarity and humanity.
"Harden’s book, besides being a gripping story, unsparingly told, carries a freight of intelligence about this black hole of a country."—Bill Keller, The New York Times “The central character in Blaine Harden''s extraordinary new book Escape from Camp 14 reveals more in 200 pages about human darkness in the ghastliest corner of the world''s cruelest dictatorship than a thousand textbooks ever could... Escape from Camp 14 , the story of Shin''s awakening, escape and new beginning, is a riveting, remarkable book that should be required reading in every high-school or college-civics class. Like "The Diary of Anne Frank" or Dith Pran''s account of his flight from Pol Pot''s genocide in Cambodia, it''s impossible to read this excruciatingly personal account of systemic monstrosities without fearing you might just swallow your own heart...Harden''s wisdom as a writer shines on every page.”— The Seattle Times “A book without parallel, Escape from Camp 14 is a riveting nightmare that bears witness to the worst inhumanity, an unbearable tragedy magnified by the fact that the horror continues at this very moment without an end in sight.”—Terry Hong, Christian Science Monitor "If you have a soul, you will be changed forever by Blaine Harden''s Escape from Camp 14...Harden masterfully allows us to know Shin, not as a giant but as a man, struggling to understand what was done to him and what he was forced to do to su