In late 2014, Arundhati Roy, John Cusack, and Daniel Ellsberg travelled to Moscow to meet with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The result was a series of essays and dialogues in which Roy and Cusack reflect on their conversations with Snowden.
In these provocative and penetrating discussions, Roy and Cusack discuss the nature of the state, empire, and surveillance in an era of perpetual war, the meaning of flags and patriotism, the role of foundations and NGOs in limiting dissent, and the ways in which capital but not people can freely cross borders.
Arundhati Roy is a writer and global justice activist. From her celebrated Booker Prize–winning novel The God of Small Things, to her prolific output of writing on topics ranging from climate change to war, the perils of free-market "development" in India, and the defense of the poor, Roy's voice has become indispensable to millions seeking a better word.
John Cusack is a writer, filmmaker, and a board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He has written the screenplays for the movies Grosse Point Blank, High Fidelity, and War, Inc., with Mark Leyner and Jeremy Pikser, among many others. His writing has appeared widely, including the Guardian, Truthout, and Outlook India.
Things That Can & Cannot Be Said is a nonfiction book about politics, it’s mainly about the conversation Arundhati Roy & John Cusack had when they met Edward Snowden at Moscow along with Daniel Ellsberg. Arundhati Roy is an Indian writer who is also an activist who focuses on issues related to social justice & economic inequality. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for novel The God of Small Things. John Cusack is an actor, writer filmmaker & a board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
The book starts with a chapter where John Cusack is the narrator & he imagines a conversation between Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden & Arundhati Roy whom he had met several times in the past. John Cusack recorded several discussions of theirs which helps him to pen down some of the talks. They discussed about patriotism, flags, capitalism, surveillance & the brave acts of Mr. Snowden & Mr. Ellsberg to stand up for the right thing. One fine day John Cusack planned to meet Snowden after all & took Ms. Roy & Mr. Ellsberg along with him to Moscow. As four curious minds meet, one can’t even imagine the depths to which their discussions might have went. Read the book to know everything about it,
We’re living in a world where propaganda has taken place of facts hence its quite easy to manage the collective conscience of the mass through media or other channels & this is done by the powerful class in order to present a lie as truth & they use words like “patriotism” or “national interest” just to tweak the moral conscience of people. As the title says the book is exactly about things that can be said in public (sugar coated lies or propaganda) & things that can’t (bitter truth). As the book proceeds with the conversations between Roy & Cusack & then with inclusion of Snowden & Ellsberg, one with an open mind will clearly see why the current system works perfectly for the powerful but harms us directly or indirectly. How the word “anti-national” or “traitor” is used against anyone who dares to speak the naked truth & this I’m saying as an Indian who keeps a sharp eye on the political environment. The language used is extremely easy, the title is apt though the cover could’ve been better. This book is surely is one of those which should be a must read in the present time.