The Barefoot Lawyer A Blind Man's Fight for Justice and Freedom in China

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 3/1/2016
  • Publisher: Picador

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“[Chen’s] story is a reminder that the desire for basic human rights . . . arises from the deep well of the human spirit.”—The New York Times Book Review

It was like a scene out of a thriller: One night in April 2012, China’s most famous political activist—a blind, self-taught lawyer—climbed over the wall of his heavily guarded home and escaped. After he turned up at the American embassy in Beijing, high-level negotiations finally led to his release and a new life in the United States.

Chen Guangcheng is a unique figure on the world stage, but his story is even more remarkable than we knew. The son of a poor farmer in rural China, he was determined to educate himself and fight for the rights of his country’s poor, despite his disability. Repeatedly harassed, beaten, and imprisoned by Chinese authorities, in the end Chen made the most dangerous choice of all: freedom.

Both a riveting memoir and a revealing portrait of modern China, The Barefoot Lawyer tells the story of a man who has never accepted limits and always believed in the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.

Author Biography

Chen Guangcheng, known to many as "the barefoot lawyer," was born in the village of Dongshigu in 1971. Blind since infancy, illiterate until his late teens, he nonetheless taught himself law and became a fiery advocate for tens of thousands of Chinese who had no voice. His escape from inhuman house arrest in China made international headlines, as did his flight to the American embassy in Beijing. In 2012 he became a student at New York University Law School; since 2013 he has been a senior research fellow at Catholic University, the Witherspoon Institute, and the Lantos Foundation. He now lives with his wife and two children in the Washington, D.C. area.

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