The Great Successor The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un
‘Superb . . . a detailed account of a regime and a personality that are normally shrouded in mystery’ Financial Times, Books of the Year
‘Packed with the fascinating and frequently bizarre anecdotal detail’ The Times
‘Superb…a model of investigative diligence and rigour’ New Statesman
‘Astonishing and insightful – the inside story of the mercurial man now making headlines, and history. Essential reading’ Lyse Doucet
‘By far the most complete insight into the Hermit Kingdom I have ever seen’ Christina Lamb
‘An important and rigorous piece of journalism written with clarity and urgency’ Sunday Times
‘Fascinating‘ Mail on Sunday
The Great Successor is an irreverent yet insightful quest to understand the life of Kim Jong Un, one of the world’s most secretive dictators. Kim’s life is swathed in myth and propaganda, from the plainly silly–he supposedly ate so much Swiss cheese that his ankles gave way–to the grimly bloody stories of the ways his enemies and rival family members have perished at his command.
One of the most knowledgeable journalists on modern Korea, Anna Fifield has exclusive access to Kim’s aunt and uncle who posed as his parents while he was growing up in Switzerland, members of the entourage that accompanied Dennis Rodman on his quasi-ambassadorial visits with Kim, and the Japanese sushi chef whom Kim befriended and who was the first outsider to identify him as the inevitable successor to his father as supreme ruler. She has been able to create a captivating portrait of the oddest and most isolated political regime in the world, one that is broken yet able to summon a US president for peace talks, bankrupt yet in possession of nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Un; ridiculous but deadly, and a man of our times.