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【LRB】Advantage Pyongyang




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  VOL. 35 NO. 9 Visit >  
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Advantage Pyongyang

Richard Lloyd Parry

The Choco Pie is a mouth-drying, individually wrapped slab of cake, marshmallow and chocolate, and in South Korea it is as important a part of childhood as Britain’s Mars bar or the American Twinkie. It is manufactured by the Orion company of Seoul, exported across Asia, and consumed in an arc of countries from Japan to Uzbekistan. In 2004, South Korean manufacturers began to set up factories in the North Korean city of Kaesong, an unprecedented experiment in co-operation between the fraternal enemies, and the core of what the South Korean government called its Sunshine Policy. More

Cyprus’s Depositor Haircut

James Meek

Before I went to Cyprus it seemed to me that ordinary people hadn’t done too badly in the rescue of the Cypriot financial system. Ordinary people with up to 100,000 euros in the two biggest banks got to keep their money; surely only the rich would suffer when the government confiscated the rest? But once in Cyprus I saw that I hadn’t, in fact, been thinking about ordinary people. I’d been thinking about a mythological individual, the hero of modern democracy, Ordinary Person. More

How the Banks Do It

Donald MacKenzie

Three years ago, the Bank of England set out to calculate a figure that does more than any other to shatter banking’s preferred image of itself: the size of the subsidy that taxpayers give to British banking just by virtue of being available to bail out banks if things go badly wrong. The Bank put the figure for 2009 at £107 billion. It didn’t attract much attention, but it should have. It’s more than the government spent that year on social security or education, and almost as much as it spent on health. More

Thatcher in Gravesend

Iain Sinclair

Dartford is where Margaret Thatcher, like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, launched her career. But while the Stones are still working hard for their portfolios and properties, Lady Thatcher’s twilight was infolded and unmoving. She became a destination to be visited, afternoon tea taken, like a famous rock or lighthouse. In her statuesque last act, Thatcher was revealed as a fallible old woman whose sharpest memories were of childhood, the Grantham years of strict Methodism and endless homework, before she lost her essential self in becoming a manufactured, voiced-coached projection. More


Also in this issue

At the Movies

Michael Wood

Short Cuts

Christian Lorentzen

At the National Gallery

Charles Hope


Subscribers can also read:

Terry Eagleton: How to Purge a Demon
Karl Miller: Smiley and Bingham
Michael Wood: Julian Barnes
Seth Colter Walls: William Gass
Ian Sansom: Woody Guthrie’s Novel
Diarmaid MacCulloch: Council of Trent
Marshall Sahlins: Human Science
Emma Dench: Roman Children
Thomas Keymer: Orientalist Jones
Sadakat Kadri: Who killed Baha Mousa?
Poems by Jean Sprackland and Charles Simic

Events at the London Review Bookshop

Chloe Aridjis in conversation with Tom McCarthy

Tuesday 7 May
at 7 p.m.


Darian Leader: Strictly Bipolar

Thursday 9 May
at 7 p.m.


China Miéville in conversation with The White Review

Wednesday 15 May
at 7 p.m.


Edith Grossman in conversation with Daniel Hahn

Friday 24 May
at 7 p.m.


T.J. Clark: Picasso and Truth

Tuesday 28 May
at 7 p.m.


Wu Ming: Altai

Wednesday 29 May
at 7 p.m.

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