The North Korean revolution, 1945-1950

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Cornell University Press, 2003 - History - 265 pages
3 Reviews
North Korea, despite a shattered economy and a populace suffering from widespread hunger, has outlived repeated forecasts of its imminent demise. Charles K. Armstrong contends that a major source of North Korea's strength and resiliency, as well as of its flaws and shortcomings, lies in the poorly understood origins of its system of government. He examines the genesis of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) both as an important yet rarely studied example of a communist state and as part of modern Korean history. North Korea is one of the last redoubts of "unreformed" Marxism-Leninism in the world. Yet it is not a Soviet satellite in the East European manner, nor is its government the result of a local revolution, as in Cuba and Vietnam. Instead, the DPRK represents a unique "indigenization" of Soviet Stalinism, Armstrong finds. The system that formed under the umbrella of the Soviet occupation quickly developed into a nationalist regime as programs initiated from above merged with distinctive local conditions. Armstrong's account is based on long-classified documents captured by U.S. forces during the Korean War. This enormous archive of over 1.6 million pages provides unprecedented insight into the making of the Pyongyang regime and fuels the author's argument that the North Korean state is likely to remain viable for some years to come. Studies of the East Asian Institute, Columbia University

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Review: The North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950

User Review  - Goodreads

If it's not the best North Korea book I've ever read it's certainly up there. Read full review

Review: The North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950

User Review  - Goodreads

Interesting and informative read. Good book on where post-war NK construction has originated and how it progressed. This book tries to appear to be very neutral yet critical of the authoritarian government, but, fair is fair and looks good enough for me. Read full review


Revolution on the Margins
Liberation Occupation and the Emerging New Order
Remaking the People

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columbia university

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