August 4, 2009
BOOK SQUADRON, ASSEMBLE
Hugo Chavez’s revolutionary reading plan:
[A] key part of the Reading Plan are thousands of ‘book squadrons.’
These are basically roving book clubs that are intended to encourage reading on the metro, in public squares and in parks.
Each squadron wears a different colour to identify their type of book. For example, the red team promotes autobiographies while the black team discusses books on ‘militant resistance.’
Props to the BBC for going beyond the obvious smirky weirdness of this story and sharing a detail that’s actually interesting/important:
“I think there’s a great contradiction there,” says Mr Garcia [who runs Random House in Venezuela]. “That a government which on the one hand is promoting reading, giving out Les Miserables in a public square, but doesn’t allow the free importation of literature—not, it should be said, for any ideological reason, but because of currency controls.”