November Book Club - "Now I Know Who My Comrades Are"

Civic tech isn’t just about coding and designing. There are a lot of great books and articles out there that address society, culture, technology, discrimination, economics, and all those other things we care about. So lets read and talk about some of them.

In November, we’ll meet on a Saturday morning at the Walker branch of Hennepin County Libraries to discuss Now I Know Who My Comrades Are, by Emily Parker. This book is a pretty action-packed, enjoyable read with a nice storytelling feel, so you may find it hard to put down! But, if you only have time to read part of the book, then skim one of the sections that interests you–either China, Cuba, Russia–and we can compare notes. We look forward to seeing you there!

[Blurb redacted from publisher’s website:]

In China, university students use the Internet to save the life of an attempted murder victim. In Cuba, authorities unsuccessfully try to silence an online critic by sowing seeds of distrust in her marriage. And in Russia, a lone blogger rises to become one of the most prominent opposition figures since the fall of the Soviet Union. Authoritarian governments try to isolate individuals from one another, but in the age of social media freedom of speech is impossible to contain. Online, people discover that they are not alone. As one blogger put it, “Now I know who my comrades are.” In her groundbreaking book, Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground, Emily Parker, formerly a State Department policy advisor, writer at The Wall Street Journal and editor at The New York Times, provides on-the-ground accounts of how the Internet is transforming lives in China, Cuba, and Russia. […] This book introduces us to an army of bloggers and tweeters–generals and foot soldiers alike. These activists write in code to outsmart censors and launch online campaigns to get their friends out of jail. They refuse to be intimidated by surveillance cameras or citizen informers. Even as they navigate the risks of authoritarian life, they feel free. Now I Know Who My Comrades Are is their story.

You can find the book at:

Note: This is a “bring your own coffee” event (if you find yourself needing coffee on a Saturday morning). But please remember that the library only allows covered beverages in the conference room.

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