Thursday, December 15, 2022

Top ten books about freedom

Adam Wagner is a human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. He is the founder and Chair of RightsInfo.

His new book is Emergency State: How We Lost Our Freedoms in the Pandemic and Why it Matters.

Jonathan Freedland, author of The Escape Artist, on Emergency State: "Clear-eyed, forensic and compelling, Wagner sets out what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic - and the lessons we need to learn."

At the Guardian Wagner tagged ten "books that show us what freedom is and others that tell more frightening stories of freedom being taken away." One title on the list:
Maus by Art Spiegelman

Nothing better illustrates the importance of freedom than the story of it being gradually but inexorably ripped away. Spiegelman’s two-part masterpiece literally
illustrates the story of his father’s experience in the Holocaust, from his beginnings in a comfortable and assimilated Polish Jewish family through the Auschwitz murder camp and ultimately to the US, where he lives a broken existence haunted by the suicide of his wife, Art’s mother. The book uses the metaphor of Jews as mice, Nazis as cats. It is audacious and compelling, but never simplistic or melodramatic. To appreciate freedom, we must understand that no society is immune. They were just like us.
Read about another entry on the list.

Art Spiegelman's Maus appears on Tom de Freston's top ten list of books about suffering artists, Paul Gravett's list of ten graphic novels everyone should read, Nicole Hill's list of five graphic novels for readers unfamiliar with the genre yet willing to give it a try, Ben Frederick's list of ten influential authors who came to the US as immigrants, Mary talbot's top ten list of graphic memoirs, Lev Grossman's top ten list of graphic novels, Danny Fingeroth's top 10 list of graphic novels, Meg Rosoff's top 10 list of adult books for teenagers, and Malorie Blackman's top ten list of graphic novels for teenagers.

--Marshal Zeringue