In From Stalin to Mao: Albania and the Socialist World (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017), Elidor Mëhilli argues that Communism in Albania “engendered a shared material and mental culture across borders without ensuring political unity.” In Guns, Guerrillas, and the Great Leader, Benjamin Young shows the extent to which policymakers and ordinary citizens in another prominent case of Communist heterodoxy—North Korea—drew from, and indeed tried to export, the “party central committees, recognizable slogans, surveillance techniques, censorship rituals, a mental map, and a new vocabulary” that were, for Mëhilli constitutive of the socialist world. Young argues that the relationships forged through the export of such techniques and ideas to Third World states fundamentally “shaped and molded North Korea's national identity,” causing officials in Pyongyang to foreground autonomy and anti-colonialism as the “core principles” of their state (p. 11).

Guns, Guerillas and the Great Leader contributes to research on socialist...

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