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The Voice of Hope
Synopses & Reviews
In Burma, while thousands of political prisoners are detained and tortured, and thousands more flee the country to escape poverty and forced labor, a woman of delicate appearance and fierce determination leads her nation's struggle for freedom. They chant her name, "Aung San Suu Kyi! Democracy!" Bringing this story to the world is Alan Clements, an American who spent five years in Rangoon as a Buddhist monk. Over a period of months Clements met with Aung San Suu Kyi at her home, shortly after her release from house arrest in July 1995. Their conversations became The Voice of Hope, Aung San Suu Kyi's first published work since her release. The Voice of Hope is a journey to the heart of her struggle. In response to perceptive and probing questions by Clements, she describes how she has managed to sustain her hope and optimism even when her husband and two sons are kept from her, and while so many of her followers and associates have been hurt or killed. What are the foundations of her strength? What is her understanding of the motivations of her enemy, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)? How effective can nonviolence be in the modern world? In what ways does her Buddhism inspire her actions? How does she overcome feelings of resentment and vindictiveness? Why is the truth she speaks so threatening to her enemies? Does she envision her own death? Is there conflict between her Buddhist pursuits and her political ones? What are the limits of free speech? Is the struggle for freedom worth any sacrifice? In every case Aung San Suu Kyi's answers are honest, direct, unexpected, and rich. The Voice of Hope offers us a rare insight to an extraordinary life - along with the empathyand vision to serve also as a moral compass in our own lives.
Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Prize Laureate, mother of two, and devout Buddhist, is one of the most inspiring examples of spiritually infused politics and fearless leadership that the world has ever seen. Daughter of the martyred Burmese national hero who negotiated Burma's independence from Britain in the 1940s, Aung San Suu Kyi led the pro-democracy movement in Burma in 1988. The movement was quickly and brutally crushed by the military junta, and Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest.
The Voice of Hope is a rare and intimate journey to the heart of her struggle. Over a period of nine months, Alan Clements, the first American ordained as a Buddhist monk in Burma, met with Aung San Suu Kyi shortly after her release from her first house arrest in July 1995. With her trademark ability to speak directly and compellingly, she presents here her vision of engaged compassion and describes how she has managed to sustain her hope and optimism.
About the Author
Nobel laureate AUNG SAN SUU KYI is the leader of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Burma.
ALAN CLEMENTS is the author of Burma: The Next Killing Fields?, Burmas Revolution of the Spirit, and Instinct for Freedom. Since the completion of The Voice of Hope, he has been permanently blacklisted in Burma.
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