An authoritative and frightening investigation into the dark side of North Korean society
North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation in the world, and big brother is always watching. It is Orwell's 1984 made reality.
Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea. Having entered the country undercover, Sweeny posed as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics.
Huge factories with no staff or electricity, hospitals with no patients, uniformed child soldiers, and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ-the Demilitarized Zone, where North Korea ends and South Korea begins-are all framed by a relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent loudspeakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line, and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty at the slightest sign of discontent.
Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, Sweeney's North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today while examining the country's troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.
About the Author
John Sweeney has been a lecturer at Maynooth University Geography Department since 1978. Professor Sweeney received a First Class Honours B.Sc. from the University of Glasgow in 1974 and was awarded a PhD also from Glasgow in 1980. His research interests include climate change, climatology and air pollution. He is the editor of Global Changes and the Irish Environment: Conference Proceedings (1998).
Gildart Jackson is a professional actor with experience on stage, screen, and behind the mic. Best known for his role as Gideon on Charmed, he has narrated more than seventy audiobooks and has appeared on Providence, General Hospital, Stargate: Atlantis, Las Vegas, and CSI as well as in The Seagull, My Fair Lady, and Private Eyes at the Old Globe.
Sweeney's book is a spark in the dark of North Korea.
-- "Times (London)"
Harrowing...creepy and poignant; and, in turn, tragic and obscene. North Korea Undercover asserts that the West should be more concerned about labor camps than nuclear weapons.
-- "Sunday Business Post (Dublin)"
This is a chilling book, but a timely one, written with both humor and compassion. Buy it, read it, and discuss it.
An outsider's rare look into a mysterious and terrifying place ruled and ruined by three generations of tyrants...This account is shocking and unsettling, but also darkly entertaining.
-- "Publishers Weekly"
Sweeney provides a remarkably vivid look at this hidden country...An investigative must-read.