A meaty, fast paced portrait of North Korean society, economy, politics and foreign policy Foreign AffairsThe definitive account of North Korea, its veiled past and uncertain future, from the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security CouncilInThe Impossible State, seasoned international policy expert and lauded scholar Victor Cha pulls back the curtain on this controversial and isolated country, providing the best look yet at North Korea s history, the rise of the Kim family dynasty, and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them He illuminates the repressive regime s complex economy and culture, its appalling record of human rights abuses, and its belligerent relationship with the United States, and analyzes the regime s major security issuesfrom the seemingly endless war with its southern neighbor to its frightening nuclear ambitionsall in light of the destabilizing effects of Kim Jong il s recent death.How this enigmatic nation stateone that regularly violates its own citizens inalienable rights and has suffered famine, global economic sanctions, a collapsed economy, and near total isolation from the rest of the worldhas continued to survive has long been a question that preoccupies the West Cha reveals a land of contradictions, one facing a pivotal and disquieting transition of power from tyrannical father to inexperienced son, and delves into the ideology that leads an oppressed, starving populace to cling so fiercely to its failed leadership.With rare personal anecdotes from the author s time in Pyongyang and his tenure as an adviser in the White House, this engagingly written, authoritative, and highly accessible history offers much needed answers to the most pressing questions about North Korea and ultimately warns of a regime that might be closer to its end than many might thinka political collapse for which America and its allies may be woefully unprepared....
|Title||:||The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future|
|Publisher||:||Ecco Reprint edition July 9, 2013|
|Number of Pages||:||560 pages|
|File Size||:||566 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future Reviews
Having read the entire book within the space of a month earlier in the year, it provides a compressed and compact history of the conflict of the Korean Peninsula, both ideological and military. The focus is more on the former than on the latter, which was more interesting. The various primary and secondary sources for life inside (specifically on the urban Pyongyang, as the rural areas were virtually incommunicado) and outside (across the Yalu River in Liaoning province in China) the hermit kingdom. It is worth noting that most of the refugees were of the economic nature and most of them are females.
I have been interested in North Korea for some time now and have read several books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the country. Other books approach the topic from various angles and levels of detail. Frankly, some books are so thick with detail they are impregnable for the general reader. I just wanted a book that would give me a readable, succinct insight into the society in toto, not a minute-by-minute examination of its history. The Impossible State achieves this goal by giving a readable overview of the country without getting hopelessly bogged down in minutia. I highly recommend this book to those of us with curiosity about how this dysfunctional nation operates in this modern world.
I enjoyed this book, I confess some of it was a bit over my head or perhaps too detailed for a more casual reader like I am but I finished it over the course of about 2 weeks of evening reading and I now feel I understand the situation much more then I did when I started. Obviously with North Korea there's a lot we will never know, we can only guess at, but Victor Cha does a very good job of trying to tie all the threads together and explain the vast backstory that has led up to the current situation. I wish there had been a bit more information about the personal lives of the Kim Family, but so does every diplomat, politician and military leader in the world. The truth is nobody knows hardly anything, that's really the whole problem. This is not a light read by any measure, but if you have a serious interest in world politics or the Korean situation its a very good primer on the topic.
I have read a number of volumes about North Korea. Perhaps it is a morbud fascination because the country is so far removed from the experience of being an American. This book is really one of the best one volume accounts of North Korean history, politics and culture that is interesting to read and informative.
"The Impossible State" is author, academic, and former National Security Council official Victor Cha's extended analysis of North Korea, both its past and its possible future. Cha draws extensively on his experiences in visiting North Korea and in having negotiated with its officials to present an indepth look behind the official mask; he finds a disfunctional authoritarian state that survives by brutalizing its citizens and bullying its neighbors.