The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot

  • by Blaine Harden
  • Narrated by Mark Bramhall
  • 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Escape from Camp 14, the murderous rise of North Korea's founding dictator and the fighter pilot who faked him out
In The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, New York Times best-selling author Blaine Harden tells the riveting story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception - and escape.
As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok noisily pretended to love his Great Leader. That was until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly $1 million today). The theft - just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953 - electrified the world and incited Kim's bloody vengeance.
During the Korean War, the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans.
Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the role of Mao and Stalin in Kim's shadowy rise as well as from never-before-released US intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding escape adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world's longest-lasting totalitarian state.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very interesting book from an unusual perspective.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. There were a lot of interesting historical details that I had never heard about before. I was an Army helicopter pilot stationed in South Korea 3 different times for a year at a time. I never heard much about this story other than the fact that a North Korean Mig pilot had defected with his jet during the war. It was extremely interesting to get the perspective of a North Korean pilot.
The book not only addresses the things that took place well before, during and after his defection, but it also lets the listener get an understanding of how the man felt and the thoughts that ran through his mind during all these times.
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- D. Messenger

Great story

Didn't expect to hear so much about Kim il sung as well as the Korean War in general. I recommend this audiobook. The performance was really clear and comprehendible.
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- Jfm

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-17-2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio