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The Reuter Society

Marcus Ferrar

Marcus Ferrar (photo) gave a thought-provoking talk on the subject of his latest book, The Fight for Freedom. His conclusion: overall, the search for freedom through the ages has “lent hope and vigour to the human race”.

Reviewing the pattern of revolutions from ancient Greek and Roman times to the present day, Marcus analysed the different ways in which people have fought to overthrow tyrants and despotic regimes, as well as the parts played by ideologies, religion and state oppression.

Most uprisings in history, he noted, were driven by explosions of popular anger, leading to violence and bloodshed. In contrast non-violent campaigns, when they were successful, depended on the leadership of strong individuals, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Answering questions, Marcus turned his forensic sights on current issues including Syria, Iraq and even Britain’s democratic bid for freedom from the European Union. ■