• The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot

  • The True Story of the Tyrant Who Created North Korea and the Young Lieutenant Who Stole His Way to Freedom
  • By: Blaine Harden
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (209 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot  By  cover art

The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot

By: Blaine Harden
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $15.75

Buy for $15.75

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

From the best-selling author of Escape from Camp 14, the murderous rise of North Korea's founding dictator and the fighter pilot who faked him out

In The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, New York Times best-selling author Blaine Harden tells the riveting story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception - and escape.

As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok noisily pretended to love his Great Leader. That was until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly $1 million today). The theft - just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953 - electrified the world and incited Kim's bloody vengeance.

During the Korean War, the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans.

Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the role of Mao and Stalin in Kim's shadowy rise as well as from never-before-released US intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding escape adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world's longest-lasting totalitarian state.

©2015 Blaine Harden (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

An Amazon Best Book of 2015

"A fascinating retelling of a tale from the early years of the Cold War....[an] artful narrative." (The New York Times)

"Blaine Harden has done more than anyone else to bring [North Korea] to a mass audience.... Thrilling stuff." (The Washington Post)

Love Books? You'll Love Audible.

Placeholder Image Alt Text

Transform your day

Replace endless scrolling with endless listening. Chores can be fun.

Placeholder Image Alt Text

Listen everywhere

Download titles to listen offline, wherever you are in the world.

Placeholder Image Alt Text

Carry your entire Library

Your stories go where you go. Audiobooks don’t weigh a thing.

Placeholder Image Alt Text

Listen and learn

Discover stories that can change your mind, your well-being, and your life.

Placeholder Image Alt Text

Reach your reading goals

You can’t turn pages while you drive—but you can press play.

Placeholder Image Alt Text

Find your niche

WIth thousands of titles to explore, there’s something for everyone.

Try for $0.00 $14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

What listeners say about The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    154
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars