Academic journal article Military Review

THE NORTH KOREAN REVOLUTION: 1945-1950 (Studies of the East Asian Institute, Columbia University)

Academic journal article Military Review

THE NORTH KOREAN REVOLUTION: 1945-1950 (Studies of the East Asian Institute, Columbia University)

Article excerpt

THE NORTH KOREAN REVOLUTION: 1945-1950 (Studies of the East Asian Institute, Columbia University), Charles K. Armstrong, Cornell University Press, NY, 2004, 265 pages, $39.95.

In The North Korean Revolution: 1945-1950, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University Charles K. Armstrong examines North Korea's formative period between World War II and the Korean war, when Kim Il Sung and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea rose to power.

Armstrong's book is extensively researched and replete with footnotes to Korean, U.S. military, and Soviet source documentation. Arm-strong reviewed over 1.6 million pages of documents that U.S. forces captured during the Korean war. The book is not easy to read, but it provides a wealth of factual information and historical background that increases the persistent reader's understanding of North Korea's communist history and present idiosyncrasies.

Armstrong attempts to dispel the traditional Western view that communist North Korea is the creation and puppet regime of the Soviets. He delineates an important, yet limited, Soviet role in the early years of North Korea's communist government. In Armstrong's view, the Soviet and North Korean relationship is better defined as the "Koreanization" of Soviet communism, rather than the "Sovietization" of North Korea. …

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