Writing Democracy

August 19, 2012
(was 11.13.2011)

Some people put their bodies on the line for democracy.  Some pick up weapons.  And some put pen to paper.   Writers who use their gifts to speak truth to power have a special place in the annals of literature.  We revere them for their conscience and their courage.  We'll talk with some of the world’s most celebrated writers talk with us about the literature of democracy. Including and interview with the poet in blue jeans, the dissident playwright who inspired the Velvet Revolution that overthrew the Soviet Union. Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, may have recently passed away, but his ideas live on.

Join the democracy discussion here!


  1. Mario Vargas Llosa on the dictator Trujillo

    Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the godfathers of Latin American fiction. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010.  He also once ran for president of his native country, Peru.  Politics and literature are the driving forces in his life.

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    Average: 4.6 (5 votes)
  2. Vaclav Havel on Art and Politics

    The late Vaclav Havel on the role of writers and artists in a democracy.

    Your rating: None
    Average: 3.8 (5 votes)
  3. Christie Taylor Reports on the Wisconsin Protests

    For weeks, hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors occupied the State Capitol of Wisconsin.  They ate there. They slept there. And they wrote there.  Among them was sleep-in activist and blogger, Christie Taylor.

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    Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
  4. V.S. Naipaul on Colonialism

    V.S. Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.   A Trinidadian-British citizen, he’s known for his novels focusing on the legacy of the British Empire’s colonialism.

    Your rating: None
    Average: 3.8 (4 votes)
  5. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Nigeria

    Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her most noted novel is called “Half of a Yellow Sun.”

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    Average: 4 (5 votes)
  6. Christopher Hitchens on "Why Orwell Matters"

    Who’s the best model of the politically engaged writer? The late journalist Christopher Hitchens nominates George Orwell.

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    Average: 3.9 (8 votes)