The Great Successor
The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un
The behind-the-scenes story of the rise and reign of the world’s strangest and most elusive tyrant, Kim Jong Un, by the journalist with the best connections and insights into the bizarrely dangerous world of North Korea.
Since his birth in 1984, Kim Jong Un has been swaddled in myth and propaganda, from the plainly silly — he could supposedly drive a car at the age of three — to the grimly bloody stories of family members who perished at his command.
Anna Fifield reconstructs Kim’s past and present with exclusive access to sources near him and brings her unique understanding to explain the dynastic mission of the Kim family in North Korea. The archaic notion of despotic family rule matches the almost medieval hardship the country has suffered under the Kims. Few people thought that a young, untested, unhealthy, Swiss-educated basketball fanatic could hold together a country that should have fallen apart years ago. But Kim Jong Un has not just survived, he has thrived, abetted by the approval of Donald Trump and diplomacy’s weirdest bromance.
Skeptical yet insightful, Fifield creates a captivating portrait of the oddest and most secretive political regime in the world — one that is isolated yet internationally relevant, bankrupt yet in possession of nuclear weapons — and its ruler, the self-proclaimed Beloved and Respected Leader, Kim Jong Un.
In the News
To find out, the author of a new biography hunted down just about everyone who’s ever interacted with the guy.Read more
Kim Jong Un’s Undercover Adolescent Years in Switzerland (Politico)
Anna Fifield is Beijing bureau chief at the Washington Post. This is adapted from her recent book, The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un.Read more
‘The Great Successor’ Aims To Fill In Blanks On The Life Of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (NPR)
What emerges is a portrait of Kim fully in charge and consciously channeling his grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, to bolster his legitimacy. Contrary to prevailing stereotypes, in this story Kim is anything but a madman.Read more