Looking for the best North Korea books? Browse our list to find excellent book recommendations on the subject.
- The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia (2014)
- Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (2010)
- Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (2013)
- In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom (2016)
- North Korea: A History (2018)
- A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea (2018)
- Discovering Joy: Ten Years in North Korea (2018)
- Rocketbone’s Guide to North Korea (2019)
- The Girl with Seven Names (2016)
- I Escaped North Korea! (2019)
- The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea (2018)
- My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth (2016)
The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia (2014)
Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (2010)
In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il (the father of Kim Jong-un), and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (2013)
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped.
In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom (2016)
Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape. Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country’s dictator, could read her mind.
North Korea: A History (2018)
In this key textbook, Michael J. Seth offers an excellent synthesis of existing scholarship, including a thorough examination of contemporary sources. Seth masterfully traces how North Korea gradually transformed itself from a Soviet-style socialist state to an ultra-nationalist, dynastic one, illuminating this journey with an engaging understanding of the political, ideological, economic and social forces at play.
A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea (2018)
Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste.
Discovering Joy: Ten Years in North Korea (2018)
A surprising discovery in the unlikliest of places Joy Yoon and her husband spent more than ten years as humanitarian NGO workers in one of the world’s most mysterious and closed societies. In this book she shares observations and insights, offering readers the chance to re-evaluate understandings of the so-called “Hermit Kingdom.”
Rocketbone’s Guide to North Korea (2019)
Join Rocketbone, an inter-galactic explorer from the planet P3T0N, in a quest to discover the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, one of the most mysterious places on Earth. Rocketbone uncovers the truth about everything from Kim Jong-un to kimchi in a land very few have visited.
The Girl with Seven Names (2016)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAn extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime.
I Escaped North Korea! (2019)
14-year-old Dae has been taught that North Korea is the best place in the world. Yet the painfully skinny boy can’t help wondering why all his family has to eat is watery porridge made from grass. At school, Dae and his friends bow before the giant portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, their clothes flapping around their bony limbs.
The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea (2018)
The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il’s leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships.
My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth (2016)
Most people want out of North Korea. Wendy Simmons wanted in.In My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth, Wendy shares a glimpse of North Korea as it’s never been seen before. Even though it’s the scariest place on Earth, somehow Wendy forgot to check her sense of humor at the border. But Wendy’s initial amusement and bewilderment soon turned to frustration and growing paranoia.
Best North Korea Books Worth Your Attention
We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some north korea books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.
Hinge Points: An Inside Look at North Korea's Nuclear Program
Author(s): Siegfried S. Hecker
ID: 3420012, Publisher: Stanford University Press, Year: 2023, Size: 20 Mb, Format: epub
Among Women across Worlds: North Korea in the Global Cold War
Author(s): Suzy Kim
ID: 3628451, Publisher: Cornell University Press, Year: 2023, Size: 39 Mb, Format: pdf
While Time Remains: A North Korean Defector's Search for Freedom in America
Author(s): Yeonmi Park
ID: 3679213, Publisher: Threshold Editions, Year: 2023, Size: 3 Mb, Format: epub
Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are truly record-breakers according to The Wall Street Journal, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.