East Texans' Book Inspires People Around The Globe - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/04/08 - Tyler

East Texans' Book Inspires People Around The Globe

An east Texas attorney is gaining international fame - as an author.

Attorney Blake Bailey wrote a novel titled "Zapatista".

It's about the Mayan Revolution in Southern Mexico, where Bailey lived for a while.

Now, the book is getting attention in Serbia, far away from East Texas and even further away from Mexico.

Wednesday, he talked to KLTV 7's Courtney Lane about how his experiences are inspiring others around the globe.


Blake Bailey has toured refugee camps in Belgrade, Serbia.

His book "Zapatista" caught the eye of a group of college students here, who fight for human rights against their repressive government.

"It's almost as if you're going back to the 60's in the United States. Here are these idealistic, activist students trying to do the right thing for really just the right reasons without a political agenda."

They invited Bailey to travel from Tyler to Serbia, to march with them in a peaceful "May Day Rally".

"[There was] no violence. No terrorism of any sort, but just pure freedom of speech protests that things aren't going right and their voices need to be heard. It's a wonderful thing to be a part of it's so much what we are a part of here in the US, with our rights to freedom of speech and assembly."

What brought this all about is Bailey's book, based on facts about the 1994 Mayan Revolution in southern Mexico.

The soldiers of that struggle called themselves "zapatistas," who Bailey himself lived with for awhile.

"Zapatista, the name comes from Emiliano Zapata who was a great people's revolutionary who said it's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."

That motto has echoed across the globe for those struggling to gain basic human rights.

While visiting Serbia, Bailey spoke about helping others in need.

"Socrates said once that if you're truly wise, then you're good to everyone because you realize being good is in your own self-interest. Hopefully the politicians in Serbia and other countries including mine in the United States take that to heart."

Armed with words of empowerment that are encouraging people around the world to make a difference.

Courtney Lane / clane@kltv.com

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