Freedom From Fear Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Freedom From Fear.
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Freedom From Fear Summary & Study Guide Description

Freedom From Fear Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San, like Martin Luther King, did not make it with his people to the promised land, an independent democratic Burma. On July 19, 1947,two years after the birth of his youngest child, Aung San Suu Kyi, he fell, along with most of his cabinet, to assassins' bullets. One of those remaining, U Nu, became the first democratically elected leader of an independent Burma on January 4, 1948. Aung San Suu Kyi grew up taught both by her mother's example and her father's legend. A voracious reader, she assimilated Gandhi's thinking. Her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, was the Burmese ambassador to India.

U Nu was unable to hold the country's diverse groups together—some were in armed revolt. In 1962, a coalition of military officers, led by General Ne Win, overthrew the enfeebled but legitimately elected government. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was 17 at the time of the coup, went to college, worked for the United Nations, married, had children, researched her father's life, and published several scholarly and popular articles.

In 1988, Daw Khin Kyi suffered a stroke and her daughter flew from London to Rangoon to be at her side (in the previous year, devaluation of the Burmese currency and brutally repressed student demonstrations had led to a succession of nationwide protests and strikes). Even in countries with state controlled media, truth seeps out: Aung San Suu Kyi could not have not noticed that the military government was abducting students "in broad daylight" and slaughtering them (far more had already died than were to die a year later in Tienanmen Square). Aung San Suu Kyi was in her country; she observed what was happening and thought it morally imperative to act (she was not pursuing political office for herself).

She did act. That she is the daughter of Aung San indisputably brought many to her first rallies. If election results—her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) carried over 80% of the 1990 vote—count as evidence, people listened. She gave over a thousand speeches between August 1988 and July 1989—all in direct violation of the government's open meeting laws—when she was placed under house arrest. In 1991, immediately prior to this book's publication, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She remains under house arrest, and Burma remains under a military dictatorship.

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