North Korea Caught in Time: Images of War and Reconstruction

11 03 2009

nk-caught-in-time_book-coverPublished: May 2009, Hardback, 176 pp. Size: 260 x 210mm, Garnet Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-85964-214-6

The tumultuous past of the world’s most secretive nation is revealed in this unique photographic collection. North Korea has been described as “the land that never changes”. But its early years witnessed unimaginable turbulence, both in the devastation of the Korean War and in the postwar ferment in which military interventions by the Chinese and the Americans both played a part. Comprising more than 150 rare photos – most never before seen in print – North Korea Caught in Time documents the country’s destruction and painful rebirth. The accompanying text analyzes the regime’s totalitarian ethos and highlights their many official distortions of history.

Authors: California-born Chris Springer is the author of Pyongyang: The Hidden History of the North Korean Capital. He also curated the 2002 exhibition Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Budapest. His research focuses on North Korean domestic history. He has visited North Korea three times. Balázs Szalontai is the author of Kim Il Sung in the Khrushchev Era: Soviet-DPRK Relations and the Roots of North Korean Despotism, 1953-1964. His research concerns the modern history of Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, and Albania. He currently teaches at Mongolia International University, Ulaanbaatar.

Reviews: “Chris Springer’s fascinating book is full of unseen, unexpected, and arresting photographs of North Korea in the midst of war and reconstruction. […] These priceless photos are an indelible tribute to the resilience of the Korean people.”, Bruce Cumings, chair of the History Department at the University of Chicago, and author of Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History

“An important visual record of North Korea’s history and development.”, Don Oberdorfer, author of The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History

“Chris Springer in assembling this remarkable book had to come to grips with the fact that, because of official strictures that severely limited photography … there are few remaining photos from the period covered that were not disseminated by the regime’s own propaganda authorities. … Anyone interested in North Korea’s early days will want to own and peruse this revealing volume and shelve it next to the mere handful of earlier published pictorial histories…”, Bradley K. Martin, author of Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty


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