The Great Successor Book Summary - The Great Successor Book explained in key points

The Great Successor summary

Brief summary

The Great Successor by Anna Fifield is a captivating biography that delves into the secretive and enigmatic life of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. It offers a revealing look at his rise to power and the brutal regime he oversees.

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    The Great Successor
    Summary of key ideas

    Early Life and Education

    In The Great Successor by Anna Fifield, we delve into the life of Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea. The book begins with Kim's early life, growing up in the elite echelons of North Korean society. Fifield paints a picture of a privileged yet isolated childhood, where Kim was shielded from the harsh realities of his country.

    We learn about Kim's education in Switzerland, where he adopted the pseudonym 'Pak Un' and lived a relatively normal life for a North Korean princeling. Despite his exposure to the outside world, Kim remained deeply loyal to his family and the regime, shaping his future leadership style.

    Ascending to Power

    The narrative then shifts to Kim Jong Un's unexpected rise to power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. Despite his youth and inexperience, Kim managed to consolidate power swiftly, purging potential rivals and asserting his authority. Fifield provides an in-depth analysis of the power dynamics within North Korea's ruling elite, shedding light on the mechanisms that allowed Kim to solidify his position.

    She also examines the propaganda machine that surrounded Kim's ascent, portraying him as a god-like figure with an almost divine right to rule. This cult of personality would become a defining feature of Kim's regime, shaping both internal and external perceptions of his leadership.

    Reign and International Relations

    As Kim Jong Un's reign progresses, The Great Successor delves into his governance style and policy decisions. Despite initial hopes for reform, Kim's leadership remained firmly rooted in the brutal authoritarianism of his predecessors. The book discusses the country's continued human rights abuses, nuclear ambitions, and the impact of international sanctions.

    Fifield also explores Kim's unorthodox approach to international relations, from his fiery rhetoric and military provocations to his unexpected diplomatic overtures. She provides a balanced assessment of his interactions with global leaders, including the historic summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump.

    Personal Life and Public Image

    Beyond politics, The Great Successor offers glimpses into Kim Jong Un's personal life and interests. We learn about his love for Western pop culture, particularly basketball and action movies, which starkly contrasts with his public persona as a ruthless dictator. The book also discusses Kim's family life, including his marriage to Ri Sol Ju and the birth of their children.

    Throughout, Fifield highlights the carefully curated public image of Kim Jong Un, emphasizing his role as a benevolent leader and caring family man. She dissects the elaborate propaganda machinery that perpetuates this narrative, underscoring its crucial role in maintaining Kim's grip on power.

    Conclusion: The Enigmatic Leader

    In conclusion, The Great Successor presents a comprehensive portrait of one of the world's most enigmatic leaders. Anna Fifield offers a nuanced understanding of Kim Jong Un, balancing his ruthless authoritarianism with his human complexities. The book leaves us with a deeper insight into North Korea's ruling dynasty and the enduring grip of the Kim family on the hermit kingdom.

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    What is The Great Successor about?

    The Great Successor by Anna Fifield is a gripping biography that delves into the mysterious and enigmatic life of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. Through extensive research and interviews, Fifield uncovers the untold story of Kim Jong Un's rise to power, his ruthless tactics to maintain control, and the inner workings of one of the world's most secretive regimes. It offers a fascinating and chilling insight into the mind of a dictator and the impact of his rule on the people of North Korea.

    The Great Successor Review

    The Great Successor (2019) dives into the enigmatic life of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, revealing the bizarre and fascinating world under his rule. Here's why this book is a captivating read:
    • Explores the intriguing complexities of Kim Jong Un's character and the dynamics of power in North Korea with depth and insight.
    • Unveils a compelling narrative of dictatorship, propaganda, and manipulation, shedding light on the inner workings of a secretive regime.
    • With its shocking revelations and captivating storytelling, the book grips readers' attention, making the political landscape of North Korea not just accessible but enthralling.

    Who should read The Great Successor?

    • Readers who are curious about the enigmatic leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un

    • Those interested in understanding the inner workings of a totalitarian regime

    • Individuals who enjoy in-depth investigative journalism and want to gain insights into the life and personality of a controversial figure

    About the Author

    Anna Fifield is a renowned journalist and author who has dedicated her career to covering Asia and international affairs. With a focus on North Korea, Fifield has provided valuable insights into one of the world's most secretive regimes. Her book, The Great Successor, delves into the enigmatic life of Kim Jong Un, offering a compelling and in-depth exploration of the leader's rise to power. Through her extensive research and firsthand interviews, Fifield has become a leading authority on the subject, shedding light on the inner workings of the North Korean regime.

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    The Great Successor FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Great Successor?

    The main message of The Great Successor is the intriguing account of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un's rise to power.

    How long does it take to read The Great Successor?

    Reading The Great Successor takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is The Great Successor a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Great Successor is a compelling read that delves into the secretive world of North Korea's leadership.

    Who is the author of The Great Successor?

    The author of The Great Successor is Anna Fifield.

    What to read after The Great Successor?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Great Successor, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson
    • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
    • The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich August von Hayek
    • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
    • Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
    • No Logo by Naomi Klein
    • The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier
    • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
    • Brave New War by John Robb
    • Man, the State and War by Kenneth N. Waltz