Speaking Truth To Power
This year's Reith lecturer is the Palestinian American academic, political activist, and literary critic Edward Said. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1963 where he is now Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Regarded as one of the founders of post-colonial theory, his 1978 book Orientalism is one of the most influential scholarly books of the 20th century.
In his fifth lecture, Edward Said considers the basic question for the intellectual: how does one speak the truth? Is there some universal and rational set of principles that can govern how one speaks and writes? He examines the difficulties and sometimes loneliness of questioning authority, and argues that intellectuals should present a more principled stand in speaking the truth to power.