Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom inthe West

Editorial reviews

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom inthe West

Alongside Nothing to Envy , a superb book about life in North Korea by Barbara Demick, Escape from Camp 14 is a valuable read that casts a welcome spotlight on the most despicable regime on the planet.

Yet Harden leaves us with a flicker of hope. Shin has grown in confidence, harnessed his self-loathing, and learned to speak forcefully in public. He tells his audiences: ‘One man, if he refuses to be silenced, could help the tens of thousands who remain in North Korea’s labour camps?.?.?.’ Sadly, it will certainly take more than that to free a whole nation which is starving, ignorant, oppressed, terrorised and brainwashed.

The book is also a useful primer on recent developments in the the Hermit Kingdom. Harden explains how primitive capitalism has spread nationwide as Pyongyang’s elite has lost its iron-fisted control of the economy.

Now comes Escape From Camp 14, a still more harrowing account of the gulag within the gulag, the huge prison camps that litter the more remote provinces of this benighted country. Written by Blaine Harden, an experienced American journalist, it tells the extraordinary story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in the gulag to have escaped.