The Expo Files: Articles by the Crusading Journalistby Stieg Larsson, Laurie Thompson, Tariq Ali
Now almost exclusively known as the author of the bestselling Millennium Trilogy, Stieg Larsson was first and foremost a professional journalist and an untiring crusader for democracy and equality.Collected in English for the first time, the articles in this volume explore the human rights issues that formed the ideological foundation of his explosive trio of novels.
Before he ever began his cycle of novels about the travails of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, Stieg Larsson used the pulpit of the media to denounce right-wing extremism throughout Europe. A co-founder of the influential journal EXPO and its primary editor for many years, Larsson spoke out passionately against many of the worst crimes against women, minorities, and other disenfranchised
communities. These unflinching articles showcase Larsson's spare style and sly humor
as he dissects many instances of persistent anti-humanist behavior and politics.
Written with the urgency and economy of someone who knew that there is no time
to waste when it comes to fighting the forces of bigotry, sexism, and racism, The EXPO
Files is required reading not just for fans of the Millennium Trilogy, but everyone who
applauds writers with the courage to denounce evil when they see it.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Every year Swedish society produces a new generation of threatened women who can testify to the lack of legal rights and the lukewarm interest shown by the police and other authorities. Evidence of the lack of legal rights for Swedish women is interesting in this context. In the debate about honor killings it is claimed specifically that legislation in Muslim countries (as distinct from the culturally advanced legal situation in Sweden) favors and legitimizes violence on the part of men.
This systematic violence directed at women—for systematic violence is exactly what it is, and what it would be called if it affected to a similar extent trade unionists, or Jews, or the disabled—is never regarded as a “cultural problem” in Sweden. Indeed, one could ask if it is regarded as a problem at all, apart from in a strictly legal context. The violent treatment of women is illegal, and hence the perpetrator can reckon with some form of stiff reprisals after any such acts are committed.
But there is practically nothing available written by a Swedish social polemicist in which the writer tries to explain the murder of Melissa from a Swedish cultural-anthropological or broader cultural perspective. Such argumentation is reserved exclusively for “immigrants,” “Kurds” or “Muslims,” who can be studied in relation to Swedish culture.
It is of course impossible to compare the violent treatment of women and suggest that one murder is more cruel than another. In that respect Fadime and Melissa were sisters. An objection frequently made by supporters of a “cultural-anthropological” approach—and the argument is legitimate to a certain extent—is that a fundamental difference between the murders of Melissa and Fadime is that few Swedish murders are encouraged by relations, close family and close friends. This, it is argued, is the difference that makes the murder of Fadime a culturally influenced “honor killing” and the murder of Melissa a run-of-the-mill Swedish affair.
But this thesis is not completely true either. Surprisingly often—as was the case in the Melissa murder—violence is encouraged by individuals in the killer’s close circle of friends. It is difficult to find any other explanation for the willingness of friends of Swedish women-murderers to assist in tidying up the scene of the crime and in disposing of the body.
Meet the Author
Stieg Larsson was the founder and editor-in-chief of the progressive magazine Expo and an acknowledged expert on right-wing extremist organizations. The author died in 2004, soon after delivering the text of the novels that became the Millennium Trilogy.
Tariq Ali is a British Pakistani and one of the most prominent leftist intellectuals in the world. The author of several novels, countless articles and essays, and screenplays, Ali lives in London.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Date of Birth:
- August 15, 1954
- Date of Death:
- November 9, 2004
- Place of Birth:
- Västerbotten, Sweden
- Place of Death:
- Stockholm, Sweden
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