Some Thoughts on Serving as Editor of “So You Can Tell”

In April 2012, I was asked to serve as editor of the Spanish version of a book entitled “So You Can Tell”.  This book tells the account of a Holocaust survivor that now lives in Montreal, Canada.  In essence, it is a deeply personal story, but within its pages, I managed to find political undertones in abundance, about how the ambitions of political leaders and the corrosion of democratic institutions can lead to the physical and familial disintegration of society and its members.

Before accepting this task, I read the original English version of the book, and promptly realized that the project needed to go beyond carrying a message, and eliminate any linguistic barriers risen from the translation.  To me, this project meant a great deal; it gave me the opportunity to expand the book’s readership by increasing its accessibility to the Spanish-speaking world.

Having been raised in Latin America, and having studied the political affairs of several countries in the region, I also felt this project was important to remind Spanish-speaking readers of the perils of cult-driven politics, and of the responsibilities we have to one another as a social structure.  In many parts of Latin America, Cold War rhetoric still dominates political discourse, and many still believe that the well-being of the individual is directly and unequivocally tied with the survival of long-entrenched political and economic institutions.  That is their status quo, and whether they believe it works or not, there is an ever-growing belief that revisionism is becoming more of a utopia than a realizable project.

As the book is being printed, there still remain societies where social injustice and cruelty form the paramount principles of the nation.  This book, I hope, will contribute to remind its readers that the status quo can be changed if it does not work for all, and that individuals, not statesmen, are the core of this transformation process.

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