Escape from Camp 14

Escape from Camp 14 Summary

With a New Foreword

The heartwrenching New York Times bestseller about the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped. 

North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.

In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.

The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist.

Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. Escape from Camp 14 offers an unequalled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.

Book Reviews


Haunting5 star


Comrade Liberation

Propaganda, too many lies.1 star

Paid by imperialists.15


Great and Fascinating Book!5 star

This book makes me wonder if South Koreans were to walk through the camps of the North much like the Germans had to at the end of WWII, would they be moved to action.55


A searing story of an escape, and a rare look into the gulags of North Korea5 star

Much of what we know about the hermit kingdom that is North Korea comes from press reports. Many speculate because of the lack of insightful information about their dictatorship and closed society. Escape from Camp 14 breaks past the electrified barbed wire and offers a painful look into the horrifying world of the North Korean gulag told by one of two people ever to escape. Along with Man's Search for Meaning, Escape from Camp 14 offers an understanding of life (if you want to call it that) in a concentration camp. It does not make for pleasant reading. But this book offers an understand g of the darkest recesses of the world, and shows the cruelty that sadistic humans can inflict.55


Couldn't Stop5 star

I read this book in three days. What a riveting story and invaluable introspection into the human psyche - which we all share under the right circumstances. I count my blessings for my life fur but for the Grace of God go I.55


Read It5 star

This was eye-opening to the craziness that people are forced endure. There was never a boring moment and it was quite an easy and fluid read.55


Everyone Should Read This5 star

This book is more than heartbreaking, it's not just a sad story. It's a real story chronicling the painful life of Shin, a man born into a North Korean kwalliso, a prison camp. It goes into detail about the horrors he went through. For anybody who wants to know about what's going on in North Korea, this and the book Nothing To Envy. Don't even waste your time with that stupid movie The Interview.55


A fantastic read5 star

This book was an utterly amazing read. Giving people a gruesome insight of the world that surrounds them.55


Great book!!5 star

This book makes you understand life about North Korean prison camps for both guards and prisoners. The book paints a picture about life in North Korea that many don't know about55


Escape from Camp 145 star

I was able to read this book in one sitting and I really enjoyed it. Its tough to completely understand what he went through and how terrible the north Koreans really are. Its a shame that the world allows a country to get away with the same crimes as the Nazi’s during WWII. Shin’s story is one of few who have escaped to talk about the crimes committed and the journey it takes to escape the hell hole of north Korea. It’s sad that only in north Korea could a prison camp (concentration camp) escapee blind into the local population so well. I would recommend this book to everyone.55

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