Prison Writings

Dae Jung Kim, Author, Kim Dae Jung, Author University of California Press $40 (333p) ISBN 978-0-520-05482-0
Kim, a leading symbol of democratic opposition in South Korea, was condemned to death in 1980, accused of plotting rebellion. During five months of solitary confinement, followed by a year under an indeterminate sentence, he was allowed only to write to his family, once a month. Amid heart-rending expressions of regret for the trouble his political activities have caused them, he seeks to continue educating his sons by discussing the books he is reading, which include several by Toynbee (""my intellectual mentor''). Although he avoids direct comment on contemporary politics, his summary of Korean history provides valuable insight into the turbulence of the present day in the republic. Most noteworthy are Kim's eloquent assurances that adversity is strengthening his Christian faith; most startling are his critical remarks on the influence of Confucianism in Korea: ``our present task is to root out the vestiges of Confucian morality.'' Kim has been released from prison and now serves as adviser to the main opposition party. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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