Sarah's Reviews > The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters

The Cleanest Race by B.R.   Myers
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's review
Feb 29, 12

bookshelves: asia, nonfiction, the-koreas
Read from February 24 to 29, 2012

I would've given The Cleanest Race more stars, but I was put off by the author's occasional assumptions and generalizations, his swipes at some other North Korean historians (especially Bruce Cummings) that came across as a bit catty, and his claim that North Korean refugees are simply economic migrants. That last one is a potentially harmful claim, considering that there is an ongoing problem with China claiming North Korean defectors are "economic migrants" rather than refugees, and using that to justify repatriating them. Despite all that, The Cleanest Race is a fascinating read. I really liked that BR Meyers included lots of examples of DPRK posters and novels and other propaganda materials to back up his arguments. I definitely recommend it, but it should probably be paired with other books analyzing North Korean propaganda and political thought.
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