North Korea has been at loggerheads with America since the 1950s, but our fractious relationship has grown stranger over the last decade. How did the U.S. ever get sucked into this mess? Blaine Harden delves into the origin of our enmity in his new book, The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot. Harden used Chinese and Russian documents to uncover exactly how Kim Il Sung rose to power and solidified his status as the god-ruler of a nation, and sets the tale against the parallel story of No Sum Kok, the man who swiped a Soviet-made MiG-15 jet to escape his homeland in 1953. Harden's book is chilling in its revelations about America's role in the creation of Kim's personal mythology and in No Kum-sok's depiction of what life was -- and still is -- like in North Korea. Harden discusses his book tonight as part of the Maryville Talks Books series.
7 p.m. Tue., Mar. 31. Maryville University Auditorium (650 Maryville University Drive; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). Free admission.
Tue., March 31, 7 p.m., 2015