Summary of Escape from Camp 14

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Escape from Camp 14 book summary


9 Overall

9 Importance

10 Innovation

9 Style


This story offers a rare look into a corner of the world beyond polite societies. Noted journalist Blaine Harden tells the saga of Shin Dong-hyuk, a boy who grew up in a North Korean labor camp for political dissidents. He was raised in deprivation, depravity and hopelessness, and endured punishments so relentless you will wonder, as you read, why he didn’t kill himself. In fact, because he was endlessly starved, his will to live flickered like the single light bulb in his home’s shared kitchen. This dark memoir, like any personal history of inhumanity, challenges you not to forget, not to dismiss and not to look away. You may well wonder if you could have survived in such a place. getAbstract finds that this gripping book puts political life in the West in perspective. It offers a stark sense of what security and privacy mean. Even more, it is a scream in the dead of night, a heart’s-eye view of massive inhumanity and a call to action against a vicious rogue kingdom.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Shin Dong-hyuk survived his tortured childhood in a North Korean labor camp,
  • How his mother and brother were executed,
  • How he escaped, and
  • What his story illustrates about North Korea.

About the Author

Blaine Harden is an author and long-time foreign correspondent. His books include Africa: Dispatches From a Fragile Continent and A River Lost. His work also appears in Foreign Policy magazine and he contributes to PBS Frontline.



More people are escaping from North Korea into China, but Shin Dong-hyuk is the only known escapee from a North Korean prison camp who was born and raised within its electrified fences. Faced with famine since 1990, North Korea is a brutal dictatorship under hereditary rule. ...

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    Georgianna Fiering 5 years ago
    This is not what I am looking for either! Ever since I have renewed the subscription I have not been receiving the items I am interested in or that I want/need to share with my team
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      Karen Londo 5 years ago
      hello Georgianna,
      thank you for your comment on this summary, please look for a response from us in your inbox.
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    Andy Buyting 5 years ago
    This is not the type of book that I'm looking for - at all! This one was a waste of money...
    I agree with Amanda. How does this have anything to do with my profile!
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    Amanda Hessel 5 years ago
    How in the world does this have anything to do with my profile I filled out? So disappointed
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      Amanda Hessel 5 years ago
      hello Amanda,
      thank you for your comment on this summary, please look for a response from me to your email address we have on file with your account

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