Read Freedom from Fear and Other Writings by Aung San Suu Kyi Free Online
Book Title: Freedom from Fear and Other Writings|
The author of the book: Aung San Suu Kyi
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: December 1st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780140171365
Loaded: 2333 times
Reader ratings: 5.1
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 798 KB
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Having just come back from a visit to Burma I was really interested to pick up this book. I had tried to find it before I left and was unsuccessful but read up a reasonable amount on the country before I arrived.
Frankly, my feelings were mixed. Part 1 ,which actually takes up about half the book, is a series of essays on Burma published by Suu Kyi before she became politically active. Although there was some interesting information on the history of Burma and her father I felt as if these were a little out of place for an average reader and tended to all discuss similar issues repeatedly (background on her father and the Thakin's) or provide large amounts of information that was hard to digest (going through all the provinces of the country and talking about their key characteristics). They didn't really convey any sense of who the author was to me or give me much understanding of her.
I understand that due to her lengthy incarceration there are not a huge volume of speeches and other materials to draw on but reading through part 1 I rapidly found myself losing interest. I feel bad saying that but it is just my honest feelings - it was almost as if they were put in as fluff to add some length to the text (not saying that was the reason but how I felt). In particular I felt the essay titled "Intelectual Life in Burma and India Under Colonialism" was a gruelling read and just not relevant enough or set at a reasonable level for someone who does not have an indepth knowledge of Burmese or Indian history to understand. It seemed to be a very indepth, analytical dissertation style piece that is very hard for a casual reader such as myself to take much from.
Once Part 2 begins we move onto her political works and this is where I really found myself enjoying the book. Some of her speeches and writings really are truly inspiring. There is no question she is an incredible person but for the first 167 pages of the book I found it hard to connect with her. The background on her father (who is clearly a vital influence on her politics) was appreciated at first but became tired as I felt after essay number 1 no new ground was really covered. It's a real shame for me that I felt Part 1 was such a struggle as it really restricted my overall enjoyment of the book. They could easily have cut out 2/3 or even 3/4 of this section, left enough to provide some background history on her father and Burma, suggested some other readings for those interested, and moved on.
I dont want my overall review to seem harsh but after struggling through over 1/2 the book I feel like it would be just as productive to do a little background reading on Burma before picking up this book, read the introduction and then skip straight to Part 2.
Hopefully in the next few years we will see an another piece of literature from Suu Kyi where she can speak freely on her experiences these last 20+ years. That is something I cant wait to read.
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Read information about the authorMyanmar opposition leader, daughter of Aung San (a martyred national hero of independent Burma) and Khin Kyi (a prominent Burmese diplomat), and winner in 1991 of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Aung San Suu Kyi was two years old when her father, then the de facto prime minister of what would shortly become independent Burma, was assassinated. She attended schools in Burma until 1960, when her mother was appointed ambassador to India. After further study in India, she attended the University of Oxford, where she met her future husband. She had two children and lived a rather quiet life until 1988, when she returned to Burma to nurse her dying mother. There the mass slaughter of protesters against the brutal and unresponsive rule of the military strongman U Ne Win led her to speak out against him and to begin a nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights. In July 1989 the military government of the newly named Union of Myanmar placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest and held her incommunicado. The military offered to free her if she agreed to leave Myanmar, but she refused to do so until the country was returned to civilian government and political prisoners were freed. The newly formed group with which she became affiliated, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won more than 80 percent of the parliamentary seats that were contested in 1990, but the results of that election were ignored by the military government.
Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest in July 1995. The following year she attended the NLD party congress, but the military government continued to harass both her and her party. In 1998 she announced the formation of a representative committee that she declared was the country's legitimate ruling parliament. The military junta once again placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest from September 2000 to May 2002. Following clashes between the NLD and pro-government demonstrators in 2003, the government returned her to house arrest.
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