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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529387254

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 19th March 2020

Genre: Society & Social Sciences / Politics & Government

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The Great Successor is an irreverent yet insightful quest to understand the life of Kim Jong Un, one of the world’s most secretive dictators. Kim’s life is swathed in myth and propaganda, from the plainly silly–he supposedly ate so much Swiss cheese that his ankles gave way–to the grimly bloody stories of the ways his enemies and rival family members have perished at his command.

One of the most knowledgeable journalists on modern Korea, Anna Fifield has exclusive access to Kim’s aunt and uncle who posed as his parents while he was growing up in Switzerland, members of the entourage that accompanied Dennis Rodman on his quasi-ambassadorial visits with Kim, and the Japanese sushi chef whom Kim befriended and who was the first outsider to identify him as the inevitable successor to his father as supreme ruler. She has been able to create a captivating portrait of the oddest and most isolated political regime in the world, one that is broken yet able to summon a US president for peace talks, bankrupt yet in possession of nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Un; ridiculous but deadly, and a man of our times.


Astonishing and insightful - the inside story of the mercurial man now making headlines, and history. Essential reading
Lyse Doucet
By far the most complete insight into the Hermit Kingdom I have ever seen. Full of fascinating details
Christina Lamb
Superb . . . a detailed account of a regime and a personality that are normally shrouded in mystery
Financial Times
A hard-earned, comprehensive portrait . . . essential reading
Irish Independent
Mail on Sunday
Anna Fifield's excellent account, based on years of reporting from Korea, dispenses with the overfamiliar anecdotes about this ghastly spoiled-brat-turned-dictator
Evening Standard
An important and rigorous piece of journalism written with clarity and urgency
Sunday Times
Hot Press
Excellent . . . an illuminating insight into the life and thinking of North Korea's ruthless leader
Evening Standard, Book of the Week
Elegantly written and exhaustively researched
superb...a model of investigative diligence and rigour
New Statesman
an authoritative, revealing and spry account of the world's most isolated political regime
Sunday Business Post
Those anticipating James Bond villain stories will not be disappointed
The Great Successor brims with important and exclusive information about the Kim family
Andrei Lankov, Financial Times
Packed with the fascinating and frequently bizarre anecdotal detail
Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times
Anna Fifield owns the North Korea story today in a way that few other journalists, myself included, have ever been able to claim mastery over this most elusive subject.
Barbara Demick, author of the bestseller, Nothing to Envy
Anna Fifield disentangles the propaganda that surrounds Kim and presents a clear-eyed portrait of a secretive dictator.
The Sunday Business Post