Stephane Hessel, Scribe

This slim booklet is about indignation. About how freedom necessarily entails outrage against the misery and injustice in our society.

Hessel, twice imprisoned and tortured by the Germans in World War II, escaped and helped draft the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Now 94, he remains on the side of the dissidents and says, “When you encounter someone who lacks those rights, have sympathy, and help him or her to achieve them.”

He says he continues to call for a “true peaceful uprising against the means of mass communication that offers nothing but mass consumption as a prospect for our youth, contempt for the least powerful in society and for culture, general amnesia and the outrageous competition of all against all”.

Other than call for resistance against problems such as inequality, mistreatment of illegal immigrants, damage to the environment and the plight of Palestinians, the book offers few answers. Though it helped inspire protests around the world in 2011.

Hear a podcast about the book at ABC Radio National 360 Documentaries.

Stephen Webb


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