Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Paperback edition updated and revised, with a preface from Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Prize Laureate, a mother of two and devout Buddhist, is one of the most inspiring examples of spiritually infused politics and fearless leadership that the world has ever seen. Daughter of the martyred Burmese national hero who negotiated Burma's independence from Britain in the 1940s, Aung San Suu Kyi led the pro-democracy movement in Burma in 1988. The movement was quickly and brutally crushed by the military junta, and Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest.

The Voice of Hope is a rare and intimate journey to the heart of her struggle. Over a period of nine months, Alan Clements, the first American ordained as a Buddhist monk in Burma, met with Aung San Suu Kyi shortly after her release from her first house arrest in July 1995. With her trademark ability to speak directly and compellingly, she presents here her vision of engaged compassion and describes how she has managed to sustain her hope and optimism.

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“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is still strong, powerful and remains as the leader of the people of Burma in their 'revolution of the spirit.' The Voice of Hope is a portrait of her, painted with her spiritual strength. It is one of the best documents to prove that she is the real future of Burma.”

“Alan Clements has presented us a manual for life that crudely tells ... developed and most powerful leaders on the planet to stop waiting idly by for a miracle to occur without hard work. This book is the catapult that will launch individuals into taking immediate action.”

“The dialogues [in The Voice of Hope] express Aung San Suu Kyi's humor, erudition, wisdom and accessibility, and demonstrate why she has become a world spiritual leader.”

“Aung San Suu Kyi is a remarkable and courageous human being. Listen to her voice and be inspired.”

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A worldwide lecturer on Buddhism and spiritual-social activism, ALAN CLEMENTS is considered one of the West’s leading authorities on Burma’s struggle for human rights and democracy. His books on the subject include Burma: The Next Killing Fields? and Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity (co-authored with Leslie Kean), as well as The Voice of Hope (with Aung San Suu Kyi). He is the founder and co-director of the Burma Project USA, a San-Francisco based nonprofit organization. Clements has been permanently blacklisted from Burma.

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Aung San Suu Kyi is the leader of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Burma. Born in 1945 as the daughter of Burma's national hero Aung San, she was two years old when he was assassinated— not long before Burma gained the independence to which he had dedicated his life. After receiving her education in Rangoon, Delhi, and at Oxford University, Aung San Suu Kyi worked for the United Nations in New York and Bhutan. For most of the following twenty years, she was occupied raising a family in England, before returning to Burma in 1988 to care for her dying mother. Her return coincided with the outbreak of a spontaneous revolt against twenty-six years of political repression and economic decline. Aung San Suu Kyi quickly emerged as the most effective and articulate leader of the movement, and the party she founded went on to win a colossal electoral victory in May 1990. In July 1989 she was put under house arrest and the military junta that now rules Burma refused for six years either to free her or to transfer power to a civilian government as it had promised. Upon her release in July 1995, she immediately resumed the struggle for political freedom in her country.