Blog posted under Literature


Word Power - LA Review of Books

A SPECTER IS HAUNTING Timothy Garton Ash’s book Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World — it is “the specter of what in the West is called ‘dissent.’” You might catch the ironic echo of the opening line from Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto, but this quote is taken from “The Power of the Powerless,” the most important essay by Václav Havel, the playwright and dissident who was elected president of Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Published last May, Free Speech is a book about all that has changed for global freedom of expression since the seemingly triumphant year of ’89. But what if the post-1989 world that Garton Ash is addressing has already vanished?

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