The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot

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 Freedom

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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An ambitious and gripping exploration of the world's most secretive state through the intertwined lives of two North Koreans, one infamous, one obscure: Kim Il Sung, the former North Korean leader and No Kum Sok, once the state's youngest jet fighter pilot. Shortly before the Korean War ended, their paths crossed. Kim Il Sung congratulated No Kum Sok on his flying skill and courage, but just a few months later, No Kum Sok stole a Soviet-made MiG-15 and escaped to a US airfield in South Korea. This non-fiction thriller digs deeply into the character of the Kim family dictatorship. Both an irresistible adventure story and an authoritative guide to the notorious state, The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot explains why North Korea remains so isolated, why it created and maintains its concentration camps, and why it is still so angry at the western world.'Harden's book, besides being a gripping story, unsparingly told, carries a freight of intelligence about this black hole of a country' New York Times on Escape from Camp 14.
Publisher: London : Mantle, 2015
ISBN: 9781447253372
144725337X
9781447253341
1447253345
Branch Call Number: 921 Kim
Characteristics: 290 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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p
publicenemy45
Dec 16, 2016

I like this book well writing. the story of No Kum Sok. was fascinating.

m
McBainF1
Apr 26, 2016

A fantastic story of two contrasting lives. The book is hard to put down and it is really hard not to become emotionally attached to No Kum-Sok. Highly recommended for anyone looking to read about the rise of the Kim family backdropped with No's desire to leave it.

A fine read.

b
bookwormjeph
Jul 01, 2015

A very readable account of North Korea's descent into what it is today. It is told in a narrative that juxtaposes the rise of the Kims and a NK fighter pilot who escaped in his planer to South Korea and eventually to the USA at the end of the Korean War. Rather insightful as I didn't know much about NK and now that I know a bit more, the state of the country and the treatment of it's people horrifies me even more.

multcolib_darceem Apr 18, 2015

Just like I never thought I'd be interested in Olympic rowing before reading The Boys in the Boat, I couldn't have imagined being particularly interested in the history of jet fighters before reading this title. The fact that I couldn't put this book down is a testament not just to this fascinating story and uncovered history, but also to the authors writing. Operation Moolah?! Whaaaat?!

a
athena14
Apr 04, 2015

The tones in which Harden writes his not-so-parallel biographies put me off. "The Great Leader" is a comic book villain. The fighter pilot, who should have told his story in his own words, seems a cunning opportunist, not the hero Harden sees.

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