Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin

Feb 2, 2024

Among the Braves

Hope, Struggle, and Exile in the Battle for Hong Kong and the Future of Global Democracy

Hachette Books 2023

In Among the Braves Hope, Struggle, and Exile in the Battles for Hong Kong and the Future of Global Democracy (Hachette, 2023) Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin tell the story of Hong Kong's demise from Two Systems to One Country through the eyes of some of its key actors in the 2019 Anti-Extradition protests. In their richly evocative narrative, Mahtani and McLaughlin draw on their on-the-ground reporting, and weave this through a historical account to foreground the fight of the frontline protestors, referred to in Cantonese as "The Braves", who felt they had no other choice but to resist Beijing's increasingly authoritarian governance. 

In this interview, we discussed the way that the changing political landscape of Hong Kong is demonstrative of the fragility of democratic institutions. We spoke about attempts by Beijing to erase historical memory through the imposition of increasingly draconian laws. Mahtani and McLaughlin will provide listeners with insight as to why Hong Kong matters, and why the rest of the world should take notice of the global erosion of democratic freedoms. 

Shibani Mahtani is an international investigative correspondent for the Washington Post. She was previously the Post's Hong Kong and Southeast Asia bureau chief and a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal based in Singapore, Yangon, and Chicago. Her Hong Kong coverage was honored with prizes including a Human Rights Press Award for an investigation into police misconduct. 

Timothy McLaughlin is a prize-winning contributing writer for The Atlantic. Previously he worked for Reuters news agency. His work has also appeared in publications including WIRED, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Prospect. He has won multiple awards for his Hong Kong coverage, including two Best in Business Awards from the Society for Advancing Business Editing, and is a two-time finalist for The Livingston Award for International Reporting.

Jane Richards is a Lecturer in Law at York Law School, UK.

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