Oct 3, 2022 • 47M

"Thinking Truth and Freedom with Zelens'kyi and Havel"

A lecture that previews some arguments of my coming book on freedom

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Timothy Snyder
The words we need for the politics of today.
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This year I have been writing a philosophical book about freedom, in which the war in Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelens’kyi figure in important ways.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of a long conversation with President Zelens’kyi, which was entirely devoted to the subject of freedom. I was able to pursue with him several interesting conceptions that he himself has advanced, in word and in deed, these last seven months, since his decision to remain in Kyiv despite the Russian invasion. One of the things we spoke about was the tradition of the dissidents of the 1970s and 1980s, and in particular Václav Havel’s idea of “living in truth.”

In the lecture recorded here, which I was very happy to be able to give at a conference at Colby College devoted to Havel last Saturday, I work together some of the main themes of the thinking of Zelens’kyi and of Havel, and present elements of my argument about the nature of freedom. I am proud of this lecture, and hope that you will enjoy it.

PS As I’ve been saying for months now, Ukraine is winning the war. Look out for some headlines about Ukrainian advances in the next day or two.

PPS Normally I keep audio material for paid subscribers only, but this time I will release it for everyone. If you can, though, I would appreciate it if you subscribe. Doing so opens the archive to you, and will give you access to other audio material, as well as on-line discussions with me to be scheduled in the months to come.

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