Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Courage of Strangers by Jeri Laber

We are now returning to another memoir focused on the founder of Human Rights Watch, Jeri Laber who wrote the book "The Courage of Strangers; Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement". We'll be meeting in the SOMA neighborhood at Cafe Terzetto this upcoming Sunday October 3 at 2pm.

Here's a book summary:
A homemaker with an academic background in Russians Studies, Jeri Laber gradually became involved with a developing human rights movement in America during the 1970s and 1980s, going on to become the director of Helsinki Watch, an organization that monitored human rights abuses, espcially in the Soviet bloc. Under her guidance, Helsinki Watch broadened its focus to the whole world, eventually merging into one composite organization called Human Rights Watch. 

Laber's book is first and foremost an autobiographical account of her lifelong devotion to exposing human rights abuses and preventing future abuses, interspersed with references to her personal and family life. This account details her often dangerous trips to Brezhnev's Soviet Union and Eastern European nations and chronicles the events leading to the development of Helsinki Watch and Human Rights Watch. 

This book offers inspirational testimony to the value of a human rights organization that investigates and publicizes human rights violations with fairness and without regard to political ideology or U.S. foreign policy.

Next book to read:
Sunday October 31 - I, Rigoberta Menchu, An Indian Women in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchu (translated and edited by Elisabeth Burgos-Debray)

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