on January 20, 2008
The cult-of-personality-land seems to be getting an invigorating showing these days. This is the fourth book of photos to be released in the last two years and though they might have North Korea in the title it is mostly photos of Pyongyang that always predominate. The Ministry of Truth follows this pattern with just under a hundred photos and some posters.
It is unfortunate that what is on show is of such poor quality. So many are soft focus, grey, badly composed and lacking in any creativity to really show anything of this odd country. The authors also, annoyingly, take an easy out by not writing any captions but supply the dotty thoughts of the Dear Leader to go with some photos on many spreads. The uninspiring layout doesn't help either.
Far better I think to go for Philippe Chancel's excellent `North Korea' (ISBN 0500543291) with 129 photos that show the extent of the totalitarian regime in dazzling color