How did an 85-year old grandfather from Palo Alto, California, end up a prisoner in North Korea? The Last POW is the true story of Merrill Newman, a retired Silicon Valley executive and Korean War veteran who was hauled off his plane at Pyongyang airport as he was about to return home at the end of a tourist trip in late 2013. For nearly two months, he was held by North Korea's fearsome security services, subjected to intensive interrogation, and repeatedly warned that if he did not confess his "crimes", he might never be allowed to return home. In visiting the North, Newman was returning for a final glimpse of the country where he had served a half century earlier. Perhaps naively - and in sharp contrast to America's former enemies, Japan, Germany, and Vietnam - he did not realize that for the North Koreans, the war had never ended. His role in 1953 as a US military adviser to the "Kuwol Comrades" - anti-communist Korean guerrillas who fought behind North Korean lines - convinced a paranoid North Korean regime that despite his age, his heart condition, and the passage of time, Newman was a dangerous "enemy" agent. The Last POW is the exclusive account of Newman's ordeal - how the North Koreans tried, without success, to break his will; his interactions with his sinister interrogator and the other North Koreans involved in his detention; the "confession" he was forced to broadcast; and how he tried to signal he was being coerced. While Merrill was detained in Pyongyang, his family - his wife, Lee, living in a retirement home in Palo Alto; and his son and daughter-in-law in Pasadena - were frantically trying to determine what had happened to him and what they could do to secure his freedom. Newman's detention became a symbol of the seemingly irreconcilable differences that keep North Korea and the US in a permanent state of tension and revealed the inner workings of the security apparatus of one of the world's most totalitarian states 1. Language: English. Narrator: Noah Michael Levine. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/023319/bk_adbl_023319_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Edgar Willard Hiestand (December 3, 1888 August 19, 1970) was a staunch Anti-Communist who served ten years in the United States Congress. Hiestand was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 3, 1888. A Republican and member of the John Birch Society, he represented California's 21st Congressional District from 1953 until 1963, when he was defeated by Everett G. Burkhalter, a Burbank incumbent city councilman. The 21st district covered the northern 2/3 of Los Angeles County, including the cities of Pasadena and Sierra Madre on the east to Burbank and the San Fernando Valley on the west and the Antelope Valley (including Edwards Air Force Base) on the north. In 1962, the Democratic California Legislature re-districted Hiestand into the western section of the old 21st district, which was more heavily Democratic. Hiestand served on the House Education and Labor Committee where he sponsored and supported revisions to the business-labor statutes. He was an advisor to President Eisenhower on labor/management issues.