Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom: Liu Xiaobo: His Writings, His Life, His Win

Roundup: Historians' Take

[Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, the Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, and the author, most recently, of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (published in April by Oxford University Press). For photos from the World's Fair, see the original article at The China Beat.]

I’ve never met Liu Xiaobo. I only know him through his powerful writings—and through watching compelling interviews with him, most notably in the prize-winning documentary The Gate of Heavenly Peace, a film about the 1989 protests. The film spawned a wide-ranging website that includes a section on the movie’s main characters—a very good first destination for anyone trying to get up to speed on the past activities and recent trials of the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner.

There’s been an enormous amount that’s gone up online already today on Liu and the meaning of the award he just received—enough that Maura Cunningham, who edits the “China Beat” blog to which I often contribute, has already put up a useful wrap-up post on the first wave of analyses. The best early responses to the news include some excellent pieces of instant analysis by people such as the New Yorker‘s Evan Osnos, who, unlike me, can write about the issue as an individual who has spoken with and gotten to know the inspiring gadfly intellectual, during the relatively rare periods in the last two decades when Liu has been out of prison....
Read entire article at Dissent

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