Life and Death in the Koreas

I just emerged from a 46-hour encounter (minus a few breaks for sleeping, teaching, writing, riding a city bus with some ex-cons, and eating) with Barabara Demick’s outstanding new book, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.   On the whole, it’s a masterwork modeled after John Hersey’s Hiroshima, following the lives of six individuals from the death of Kim Il-Sung in 1994 until … Continue reading Life and Death in the Koreas

Hatoyama Fails to Pardon: Japanese Winter Whale Hunts Underway

While Americans are stuffing themselves with large quantities of bird meat (or, in my case, giant bowls of Vietnamese soup), another hunt for protein is on in Antarctic waters by Japanese ships.   The L.A. Times has an excellent blog post on this topic, dating from November 19. CNN covers the annual controversy from Tokyo in a 2008 report: Meanwhile, the American satirists Matt Parker and … Continue reading Hatoyama Fails to Pardon: Japanese Winter Whale Hunts Underway