Magazine October 1, 2012, Issue

Out of the Gulag

Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad, by Melanie Kirkpatrick (Encounter, 376 pp., $25.99)

North Korea’s continued existence is a blot on the consciences of the United States and other Free World nations. It is indeed “hell on earth,” as Melanie Kirkpatrick’s new book describes it, although few Washington political leaders or media commentators focus on it or do much to change it. This lucid and gripping book, however, might well prompt a revolution in how Americans see North Korea. It certainly should.

Not only does the ludicrously named Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) continue its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs unchecked, but the oppression and misery of its citizens remain unequalled. Not even Kim

John R. Bolton — Mr. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Risky Choice

Watching the Democratic convention in Charlotte, at least in the hours before the networks started covering it, one might have gotten the impression that the chief threat to the common ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Obama’s Truth

More than any Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama in his writings and speeches has worked out an impressive interpretation of American history that culminates in modern liberalism. It ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Out of the Gulag

North Korea’s continued existence is a blot on the consciences of the United States and other Free World nations. It is indeed “hell on earth,” as Melanie Kirkpatrick’s new book ...
Politics & Policy

Know the Terrain

Some 70 years ago, the Dutch-American geopolitical writer Nicholas Spykman observed that “geography is the most fundamental factor in foreign policy because it is the most permanent.” The physical setting ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

On Recess Appointments Ramesh Ponnuru’s “Obama vs. the Constitution” (September 10) is absolutely appropriate for consideration by intelligent voters come November 6. However, I believe he was imprecise in describing the ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Reading the papers, it looks like Republicans are running the most lowdown, dishonest campaign since the last time they won. ‐ In his speech to the Democratic convention, President Obama ...
Athwart

Political Science

The president of the United States can’t figure out an iPhone. Millions of Americans use iPhones every day, but when confronted with this elemental, intuitive device, he stabbed it with ...
The Long View

Memorandum

TO: Polling staff FROM: Stats department RE: New polling questions To All: As you know, it’s “silly season” in our business, and if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that whatever poll ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

STAR BRIGHT Each soul is the last of its kind, the last of the Mohicans, the singular Tom Jones of the time, the everyman of fable, legend, and history. Whatever comes into the world, however changed by the ...

Most Popular

U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More