Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Defining History

Kirk gave us a couple definitions of what history is. I completely agree with his argument that history consists of both what happened (and what didn't happen) AND what people believe happened (or didn't happen). The book we are reading shows North Korea to be a case-in-point of this phenomenon. I am continuously baffled at how Kim Il-Sung has molded this story of himself to glorify his own past. The worst of them all to me is how Kim dealt with the Korean War failure. He completely put all the blame on the US, UN, and South Korea. The people of North Korea are oblivious to the fact that Kim was the one who had started that war that killed so many of them. On page 89, the passage from an "official"biography states: "On top of the mountain stood Comrade Kim Il-Sung, the iron-willed brilliant commander who held in his hands the general outcome of the war, looking down the panic-stricken U.S. imperialist aggressors with calm and shining eyes." Wow.

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