Wednesday, 4 August 2010

No.361 Of Nothing to Envy

I've just finished reading "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick. It's an amazing account of the lives of 6 people in North Korea in the 1990s who eventually defected. It's a fascinating insight into how the government tried to mislead, cheat and con its people into thinking there was no better system of rule. As thousands of North Koreans starved to death in the 1990s their government fed them nothing but propaganda. They simply instructed its people to be more loyal and work even harder. They told everyone that the food shortages were due to American sanctions when it was the USA who was sending in food aid. Aid incidentally, that was being stolen and sold on the black market.

What's particularly interesting is how the North Koreans, who had for decades relied on the government for subsistence,,were finally forced to fend for themselves as food became in such short supply. Overnight, they all had to become entrepreneurial or die.

This is a book everyone should read.

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