Joel Whitney presents "Flights"

Joel Whitney presents "Flights"

Tuesday, June 25th 2024
7:00 pm
Red Emma's
Told through the lives of the American Century’s most talented and stubborn dissidents, FLIGHTS is the archetypal hero’s journey of a group of progressives whose struggle for truth, and for freedom from persecution, sent them into exile, both literal and metaphorical.

Wanted for a crime she did not commit, Professor Angela Davis went on the run in 1970, describing the struggle against panic in her nightly safehouse transfers: “Living as a fugitive means resisting hysteria, distinguishing between the creations of a frightened imagination and the real signs that the enemy is near.” In her quest “to elude him, outsmart him,” she recalled, “Thousands of my ancestors had waited, as I had…for nightfall to cover their steps…”

Davis is just one of a rich array of refugees portrayed here by Joel Whitney, all forced to flee homes and/or friends because of their progressive stance. In these pages are compelling profiles of Seymour Hersh, Lorraine Hansberry, Graham Greene, Paul Robeson, Gabriel García Márquez, George & Mary Oppen, Frances Stonor Saunders, Malcolm X, Octavio Paz, Diego Rivera, Angela Davis, Leonard Peltier, N. Scott Momaday, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan guerrilla fighter Everado and his American wife, Jennifer Harbury, Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberta Menchú, deposed Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya and murdered Lenca environmentalist Berta Cáceres.

At once a group portrait of these geniuses of creative escape, FLIGHTS is also a prehistory (and indictment) of American mass surveillance culminating in Edward Snowden’s revelations, of torture culminating in Abu Ghraib, of censorship culminating in the incarceration of journalist Julian Assange, of fascism culminating in January 6, and of political murder culminating in the Bush-Obama-Trump air assassination program.

Joel Whitney is the author of FINKS: HOW THE CIA TRICKED THE WORLD'S BEST WRITERS, which The New Republic called a “powerful warning.” His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Baffler, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Review, New York Magazine, and elsewhere. He is a former features editor at Al Jazeera America and a founder and former editor-in-chief of Guernica, for which he was awarded the 2017 PEN/Nora Magid Award for Excellence in Editing. His essays in The Baffler, Dissent and Salon were Notables in Best American Essays 2017, 2015 and 2013.

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