Take a look at some of the writings which inspired the launch of the The New Kronstadt and learn more about the historic importance of free speech.
Cornel West taught at Haverford as a visiting professor in the late 1970s/early 1980s; the College awarded him an honorary degree in 1994; and he has been a guest speaker at Haverford many times.
Richard Crossman's 1950s anthology launched the first formal volley in the Cold War from the political left. Its detailed personal essays describe the “Kronstadt moments” experienced by Louis Fischer, André Gide, Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, and Richard Wright — all of whom renounced communism due to serious civil liberties concerns. Crossman’s compilation was tremendously influential, and shaped a generation of left-wing thought. Traces of the volume’s influence can be found in the creation of Dissent Magazine and the academic writing produced by the New York Intellectuals.
Václav Havel's expansive political essay on freedom and power in the context of Soviet occupation has had a lasting impact on dissident movements both in and outside Eastern Europe. Section III is most applicable to such varied contexts as our own, and its lessons can be extrapolated beyond the specific geopolitical circumstance which explains its origins.
Steven Pico '81 is an alumnus of Haverford College; while a student, he served as the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court book-banning case Island Trees School District v. Pico; after graduation, he worked for the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC).
Audre Lorde writes on the importance of speech and dialogue, placing particular emphasis on the intersectionality of free expression. The essay reflects themes from Lorde's poem A Litany For Survival, where she writes: "when we speak we are afraid / our words will not be heard / nor welcomed / but when we are silent / we are still afraid / so it is better to speak."