Synopses & Reviews
In this landmark book, Seven Stories Press presents a powerful collection of literary, philosophical, and political writings of the enigmatic Zapatista spokesperson, Subcomandante Marcos. Introduced by Nobel Prize winner José Saramago, and illustrated with beautiful black and white photographs, Our Word is Our Weapon
crystallizes "the passion of a rebel, the poetry of a movement, and the literary genius of indigenous Mexico."
Marcos first captured world attention on January 1, 1994 when he and an indigenous guerrilla group calling themselves "Zapatistas" revolted against the Mexican government and seized key towns in Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas.
In the six years that have passed since their uprising, Marcos has altered the course of Mexican politics and emerged an international symbol of grassroots movement-building, rebellion, and democracy. The prolific stream of poetic political writings, tales, and traditional myths which Marcos has penned since January 1, 1994 fill more than four volumes. Our Word is Our Weapon presents the best of these writings, many of which have never been published before in English.
"Our Word is Our Weapon reflects the deep soul beauty and determined hearts of deliberately impoverished people as they stand up to the most insatiable giant the world has ever seen." Alice Walker
This is an extraordinary collection of writings, documenting one of the most important grassroots rebellions of our time. It conveys the mind and spirit of the Zapatista movement with eloquence and astonishing immediacy. Howard Zinn
Marcos is the voice for many voices. This book hands us the necessary keys to begin deciphering the enigma of the collective movement he expresses. His words, fashioned from humor and poetry, reveal the deep roots and abundant branches of the Zapatista insurrection in Chiapas. It is an original language for an original movement that is transforming Mexico and is helping to change the world. Eduardo Galeano
Somewhere between the passionate analysis of Ricardo Flores Magon, and the poetic fury of Eduardo Galeano, lie these most powerful and essential communiques of the new Mexican Revolution. Possibly the most influential collection of writings upon my musical and political perspective. Zack de la Rocha, Rage Against the Machine
Marcos writes as learnedly and movingly about human rights and dignity as did our own Thomas Paine. Kurt Vonnegut
"This collection of writings by the spokesman for the Zapatista movement is an excellent window into the conflict between indigenous Mexicans and the government over the distribution of land in the Chiapas region. Marcos captured the world's attention in 1994 when his small, disciplined guerrilla group seized several mountain towns from the Mexican army. What's so riveting about the Chiapas story is not just the David-and-Goliath aspect of the Zapatistas' victories but the way in which their grass-roots, democratic agenda was articulated by Marcos this was a rebel with a brain, as well as a heart. He's also created some mystery around himself, never appearing in public without the Zapatistas' trademark black ski mask, to symbolize his determination to be "a selfless self, a person without a face" committed to serving as..." Salon.com
(read Salon.com's entire review
Hidden somewhere in the Lacandon Jungle, Marcos pens countless communiques to inform the world of the political, social and spiritual concerns of indigenous communities. More than political advisories, Marcos's writings are deeply philosophical, humorous and unabashedly poetic. Photos and illustrations.
About the Author
Subcomandante Marcos is the spokesperson for the Zapatistas, an indigenous rights movement based in Chiapas, Mexico. Marcos is author of several books translated into English, including the acclaimed children's book Story of the Colors (Cinco Puntos), and his collection with Seven Stories press, Our Word is Our Weapon, Selected Writings of Subcomandate Marcos. Juana Ponce de Leon is a writer, literary critic, and editor. She served as editor of LS, the literary supplement of the Advocate-Weekly newspapers in Connecticut and Massachusetts and now serves on the literature panel for New York Council on the Arts. Her articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, and Latina.