Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground by Emily ParkerNow I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground by Emily Parker

Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground

byEmily Parker

Paperback | February 3, 2015

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about

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.
It's a new phenomenon, but one that's already brought about significant political change. In 2011 ordinary Egyptians, many armed with little more than mobile phones, helped topple a thirty-year-old dictatorship. It was an extraordinary moment in modern history-and Now I Know Who My Comrades Are takes us beyond the Middle East to the next major civil rights battles between the Internet and state control.
Star dissidents such as Cuba's Yoani Sánchez and China's Ai Weiwei are profiled. Here you'll also find lesser-known bloggers, as well as the back-stories of Internet activism celebrities. Parker charts the rise of Russia's Alexey Navalny from ordinary blogger to one of the greatest threats to Vladimir Putin's regime.
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.

Emily Parker is the digital diplomacy advisor and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. Previously, she was a member of Secretary Clinton's Policy Planning staff at the State Department, where she covered twenty-first-century statecraft, innovation, and technology. Before joining the State Department, she was an op-ed editor a...
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Title:Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet UndergroundFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7.93 × 5.28 × 0.78 inPublished:February 3, 2015Publisher:Farrar, Straus And GirouxLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374535515

ISBN - 13:9780374535513

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Introduction

Part I: China (Isolation)
"Now I know who my comrades are"
"Chinese people don't read personal stories"
"I support the Party . . . but what about other people?"
"My world was so small"
"I thought, I can really control the world"
"Put any good guy in a bad system, and he will act very bad"
"Nothing is impossible to a willing heart"
"The people won't forget you, history won't forget you!"
"Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?"
"I tried to organize"
"I speak in complicated sentences that my comrades can understand"
"I express what they want to say but cannot write down"
"I've been scared all my life"
"Just like in jailbreak, there's a hole in the wall"
"We are like plants without roots"
"I caused a lot of fights on the Internet"
"They wany to know they are not so lonely on this planet"
"This is how I imagine the feelings of the guards"
"You have to play by certain rules"
"I'm a journalist and I know not to call for action"
"Twitter is everything about me:
"If I don't stand up for Zhu Ling, who will stand up for me?"
"Nobody knows the whole picture"

Part II: Cuba (Fear)
"You never know who is who"
"Resignation became my only comrade"
"The world knows the name and face of dissidence"
"You see agents or informers everywhere"
"I comport myself like a free man"
"I knew everything was bad, but I had to write that everything was good"
"The fear of those who learn their lessons through the trauma of others"
"People have to search for their own voice because they never had one"
"I want my lawer, and nada mas!"
"When someone is detained, everyone knows about it"

Part III: Russia (Apathy)
"People were silent and kept the constitution over their heads"
"You have to propose to people the comfortable way of struggle"
"We have our own words"
"The problem is that people don't search for it"
"In Russia, change never comes from the bottom"
"You can keep silent, you can emigrate, or you can stay here and fight"
"We didn't apply to the authorities, we appealed to the people"
"Rights are not given, they are taken"
"Bloggers have nothing to fear from publicity"
"No one, including me, believed this was possible in Russia"
"You cannot be a hero for a long time on the Internet"
"My country and my life are dependent on what I do"
"I want to thank you for considering yourself citizens!"
"So, is it you who is organizing this revolution in Russia?"
"We exist!"

Afterword
Notes
Acknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

"One can practically overdose on the levels of intrigue at play in this account of "netizens," bloggers turned social crusaders turned Internet rock stars." -Boston Globe"It is [Parker's] tracing of the more subtle, psychological effects the internet has had on activists, regular folks, and authorities that makes this book an essential read...if one is restricted to a few voices, oh what voices Parker has chosen." -The Los Angeles Review of Books"Parker's reporting...captures well the online activists' pervasive feeling of being constantly monitored." -The Wall Street Journal"One of the merits of Parker's work is to have captured these characters not just glued to their keyboards...but also in their intimate reality, in the cafes or pubs where they seek refuge, in their families, in the political rallies they support or in the hiding places they seek out when persecuted. That fills this book with color and life...Some of the personalities in Parker's book stick to memory with the same vivacity and dynamism of a Joseph Conrad or Andre Malraux character." -The New Republic"Now I Know Who My Comrades Are" is a valuable reminder of social networks beyond Facebook and Twitter...The book also succeeds in introducing readers to the wilds of Chinese, Spanish and Russian webs unexplored by English-speakers" -The Economist"Parker's work is a shining example for women writers around the world; this book is a clear showing of her prowess as both writer and researcher." -The California Journal of Women Writers"Parker...argues that online communication can undermine authoritarian rule even when its effects don't make their way to the streets." -The New Yorker"Emily Parker's book Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground is a rigorously researched and reported account that reads like a thriller...It's been a while since I have read a book that is so entertaining, not to mention one so encouraging for the culture of liberty." -Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize-winning author of The War of the End of the World and The Time of the Hero"Now I Know Who My Comrades Are is a timely and necessary book. Story by story, Emily Parker shows how the Internet has changed lives and social realities in three oppressive countries. The clarity, honesty, and intelligence of her writing make this book both admirable and enjoyable." -Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning author of Waiting and War Trash"Emily Parker tells us enthralling and beautifully detailed stories about bloggers and Internet activists in China, Russia, and Cuba, showing us the power of human connection even as she describes and analyzes it. The combination of her humanism and keen insight illuminates dimensions of the Internet that we so often miss, the ways it can create the personal ties and trust that are the foundation of collective action. A great read for both the nightstand and the scholar's shelf." -Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation, and Former Director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department"The heroes of this terrific book are 'Internet foot soldiers,' not the usual foreign ministers and businessmen, and those soldiers are changing Russia, China, and Cuba...and the world. Emily Parker is among a handful of the most promising new foreign policy commentators who weave together technology, culture, society, and politics with hard facts and clear analysis." -Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations"This book is a must read for anyone interested in how the Internet and social media serve as instruments of change in societies where information has been tightly controlled by authoritarian regimes. Through a wealth of personal anecdotes enriched by judicious commentary, Emily Parker deftly shows both the possibilities and limitations of the Internet's ability to promote greater political openness." -J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. ambassador to China, Singapore and Indonesia"This book is about twenty times better reported or written than any book ever written about the Internet, period." -Tim Wu, author of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires"In this fascinating book, Emily Parker shows that the Internet affects politics by affecting the psychology of its users. Now I Know Who My Comrades Are demonstrates how much it can matter for citizens to have a voice, and to discover that they are not alone." -Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations"Parker's book is clearly written, well researched, and contextualized. Her long-lasting relationships--she meets Chinese dissident Michael Anti for the first time in 2004, for example--allow her to create a narrative history of these bloggers' personal evolution as potential reformers, of Internet activism as a whole as seen through their experiences, and of government responses to it." -The Brooklyn Rail