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How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive? Bradley Hope, New York Times bestselling co-author of Billion Dollar Whale and Blood and Oil, chronicles the heart-pounding tale of a self-taught operative in his high-stakes attempt to subvert the North Korean regime.
“Propulsive . . . Hope’s account is both deeply reported and novelistic.”

Ed Caesar
Contributing staff writer for The New Yorker, author of The Moth and the Mountain

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

How did an Ivy League activist become a global fugitive?

In the early 2000s, Adrian Hong was a soft-spoken Yale undergraduate looking for his place in the world. After reading a harrowing account of life inside North Korea, he realized he had found a cause so pressing that he was ready to devote his life to it.

What began as a trip down the safe and well-worn path of organizing soon morphed into something more dangerous. Hong journeyed to China, outwitting Chinese security services as he helped asylum-seeking North Koreans escape across the border. Meanwhile, Hong’s secret organization, Cheollima Civil Defense (later renamed Free Joseon), began tracking the North Korean government’s activities, and its volatile third-generation ruler, Kim Jong-un. Free Joseon targeted North Korean diplomats who might be persuaded to defect, while drawing up plans for a government-in-exile.

After the shocking broad-daylight assassination in 2017 of Kim Jong-nam, the dictator’s older brother, Hong, along with U.S. Marine veteran Christopher Ahn, helped ferry Kim Jong-nam’s family to safety. Then Hong took the group a step further. He initiated a series of high-stakes direct actions, culminating in an armed raid at the North Korean embassy in Madrid—an act that would put Ahn behind bars and turn Hong into one of the world’s most unlikely fugitives.

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, The Rebel and the Kingdom is an exhilarating account of a man who turns his back on the status quo—to instead live boldly by his principles. Acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Bradley Hope—who broke numerous details of Hong’s operations in The Wall Street Journal—now reveals the full contours of this remarkable story of idealism and insanity, hubris and heroism, all set within the secret battle for the future of the world’s most mysterious and unsettling nation.

About the Author

Bradley Hope is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Billion Dollar Whale and Blood and Oil. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Gerald Loeb Award winner. Formerly a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and a correspondent in the Middle East, Hope is co-founder of Project Brazen, a journalism studio and production company. He lives in London.

The Rebel and the Kingdom is an expertly crafted thriller that makes you turn the page. What makes it all the more remarkable is that it’s all true. Bradley Hope is a first-rate reporter and writer, and he has found a subject worthy of his skills in Adrian Hong, a Korean American idealist who set out, improbably enough, to topple the North Korean regime.

Max BootColumnist for The Washington Post, author of The Road Not Taken

One of the most harrowing and inspiring stories I’ve ever read . . . This book left me in tears. Hope tells this inconceivable and heart-wrenching story with compassion, humanity, and integrity.

Yeonmi ParkBestselling author of In Order to Live

The engrossing inside story of two recent events that are jaw-dropping even for North Korea, and the obsessive man behind them . . . In The Rebel and the Kingdom, Bradley Hope unearths a trove of new details about the rescue of a Kim family princeling and the audacious raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid, and he challenges us to think about our collective role in allowing the ongoing human tragedy in North Korea. This is a terrific piece of up-close reportage that reads like a spy thriller but is all too real.

Anna FifieldAuthor of The Great Successor

Bradley Hope has written a mystery story about an elusive human rights activist—and it reminds us all of the essential evil weirdness of the North Korean regime. Adrian Hong has disappeared, a fugitive from the FBI—but I’d wager that someday we will hear from this quixotic young man again.

Kai BirdDirector of the Leon Levy Center for Biography, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Outlier
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The Rebel and the Kingdom 

The Rebel and the Kingdom 

The Rebel and the Kingdom 

The Rebel and the Kingdom 

The Rebel and the Kingdom 

The Rebel and the Kingdom