Freedom from Fear

By Aung San Suu Kyi

Rating: 3 stars

This is a collection of essays by and about the Burmese pro-democracy activist. It’s split into three sections, the first being essays that she wrote before becoming politically active. This contains a biography of her father, the man regarded as the father of the modern Burma; a history of the country written for a younger audience; a comparison of colonialism in Burma and India; and a review of Burmese literature and nationalism. This section shows that she’s an intelligent and intelligible writer with a wide range, but it’s the second section where she comes into her own. This is a collection of speeches and essays after her political activism began. Apart from one very dry and difficult piece about economics, peace and development, they’re all very clearly written and her passion and drive come through clearly. The final section is a series of appreciations of Aung San Suu Kyi written by other people.

The most heartbreaking thing about this book is that it was published in the mid 90s, and more than a decade later nothing has changed. Aung San Suu Kyi is still under house arrest, the military are still in control and it doesn’t look like they’re going to give up any time soon. Reading her words, her optimism and hope shine through: she really believed that the military would talk to her and accept the mandate of the people where her party won over 80% of the seats contested.

This book shows that Aung San Suu Kyi is an intelligent, strong and incredibly capable woman. She’s been called Burma’s Gandhi and I hope that she lives to see her dream of Burma’s transition to a democratic state.

Book details

ISBN: 9780140253177
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year of publication: 1991

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URL

Powered by WordPress