The Courage to Stand Alone: Letters from Prison and Other Writings
Letters from Prison and Other Writings
Internationally recognized as a major publishing event, The Courage to Stand Alone is a collection of prison writings from the world's most famous political prisoner. Wei Jingsheng, who has spent nearly two decades in prison for "counterrevolutionary" activities, confirms his status as a symbol for Chinese democracy, as he eloquently and fearlessly confronts a regime that not only fails to protect basic human rights but actively violates them. Devoid of ideological rant, the letters to Deng Xiaoping and other officials capture the verve, intelligence, audacity, and mordant humor of a man obstinately struggling to bring freedom to the world's most populous country. Also included are touching letters to his family, excerpts of his groundbreaking political essays, and his moving defense statement at trial.
Wei Jingsheng, a former Red Guard, was working as an electrician at the Beijing Zoo in 1978 when he became a leader in the Democracy Wall movement. An outspoken critic of government policy and advocate of individual rights since then, he was imprisoned in China from 1979 to 1993. Rearrested and imprisoned again in early 1994, he is now serving a fourteen-year sentence. In 1996 he won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.