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All those interested in this topic are urged to read B.R.Myers' review of several recent books on North Korea in "The Atlantic" (September 2004, pp. 133ff) Of particular interest is the recent book by Univ. of Chicago's Bruce Cumings, whose vast writings on Korea would lead many to suspect him as being authority on the issue. Myers points out that Cumings' book on the origins of the Korean war, released in 1990, was immediately discredited by the opening of the Soviet archives. A 1997 Cumings book allegedly refuting the "basket case" view of North Korea was published just as news of the famine was being made known. The book under review by Myers is Cumings' "North Korea: Another Country." Myers paraphrases Cumings that the North Korean Gulags are not that bad because "Kim Jong Il is thoughtful enough to lock up whole families at a time." This seemed to me to certainly be an exaggeration on the reviewer's part. But, sure enough, on page 175 of the book we find: "Kang Chol-wan was held in the Yodok Labor camp for ten years, and like most other prisoners, he went there with his family - a common practice and an odd aspect of the DKRK's belief in the family as the core unit of society." The "family values" views of the regime are explained on page 156: "Kim Il Sung and his allies chose to build their state by husbanding traditional virtues - loyalty, integrity, common sharing and generosity, all based on the bedrock of Dan Quayle's/ George Bush's 'family values'... " There are many other examples, but I'm sure the readers of this post get the point. Not surprisingly, in the two chapters I hurriedly read, (4 and 5) Professor Cumings could not seem to find anything positive about South Korea. The real problem that Professor Nichols has identified is the almost religious character of those who want to believe so desperately that there will never be any evidence to convince them otherwise. I noticed this in my research and writing on Holocaust denial. Even as evidence is forthcoming to demolish an argument, rationales are adopted that quite often contradict previous rationales. John C. Zimmerman University of Nevada Las Vegas