Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Without You, There is No Us" by Suki Kim

"Without You, There is No Us" by Suki Kim is a unique glimpse into the lives of the North Korean people, specifically the sons of the North Korean elite.

Ms. Kim, who is an American citizen born in South Korea, was allowed to teach English to a select group of young men at a university in Pyongyang from July through December of 2011.  Although these young men came from elite families in North Korea, they proudly went without good, nourishing food and adequate warm clothes as a testimony of their loyalty to the "Party" and to the Great Leader.

While there, Ms. Kim was carefully monitored and was only allowed to speak about certain topics.  All of her lesson plans had to be pre-approved.  Her personal use of CD's or books was extremely limited as the government feared these items may be passed on to a North Korean citizen.  All television, intranet (their internet), reading materials, etc. were controlled by the Party to limit the peoples' exposure to the outside world.  They also constantly listened to nationalist music, and were subjected to billboards, murals, etc. that depicted their "Great Leader" as a god.

I found this book to be one I could not put down.  I was so saddened by the extremes a government will go to, to control its people, and it would be difficult for me to accept that communism is good for anyone other than the people in control.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

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