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Ready to learn the most important takeaways from Nothing to Envy in less than two minutes? Keep reading!
Why This Book Matters:
Nothing to Envy provides insight into North Korea through some of its defectors and what their lives were like under the three dictators.
The Big Takeaways:
- When the Americans decided to divide the Korean peninsula in half, it led to the Korean war barely five years later.
- If Many countries joined the war, but nothing was accomplished as millions of people lost their lives and the border between the two Koreas had not moved.
- The lives of North Korean citizens are dictated by the strict regime that continues to hold power today.
- In addition, North Koreans are afraid to go against the regime due to fear of what the government will do to them and their families.
- Kim Il-sung became a cult personality figure in North Korean society.
- After his death due to a heart attack, he was treated as though he was a high-profile religious figure.
- As society collapsed, Kim Jong-il allowed foreign assistance to enter the country as he began to legitimize the black markets.
- When he barred his own country’s currency, he caused the country to collapse into famine and volatility.
- Defectors trying to make it to South Korea would first cross the border into China and pay huge fees to smugglers.
- Defectors could face punishments ranging from serving in a labor camp to being killed.