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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Hitchens on Sontag

Posted by Thomas Nephew on December 31st, 2004

Mention of [Sarajevo] impels me to say another thing: this time about moral and physical courage. It took a certain amount of nerve for her to stand up on stage, in early 1982 in New York, and to denounce martial law in Poland as “fascism with a human face.” Intended as ironic, this remark empurpled the anti-anti-Communists who predominated on the intellectual left. But when Slobodan Milosevic adopted full-out national socialism after 1989, it took real guts to go and live under the bombardment in Sarajevo and to help organize the Bosnian civic resistance. She did not do this as a “tourist,” as sneering conservative bystanders like Hilton Kramer claimed. She spent real time there and endured genuine danger. I know, because I saw her in Bosnia and had felt faint-hearted long before she did.

In Slate, via Gary Farber.

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