Although Esperantists like to think of themselves as politically neutral, the language’s countercultural thrust is inherently political, Schor argues. Esperanto ‘symbolized an alternative to the given, and certainly an alternative to totalitarianism, an alternative to repression and bigotry and to war,’ she says. ‘It’s not partisan, but I think it’s deeply embedded in the political nature of human beings.’
In addition to interviewing Schor, the author includes stories from other Princeton alumni about their own personal experiences with the language.
On March 3rd The Jewish News of Northern California published a story titled Hebrew, Esperanto have some amazing stories to tell. The second half of the article contains a positive review of Esther Schor’s Bridge of Words. The reviewer adds:
Her account brought me back to my own college days when I took a correspondence class in Esperanto. Although I never got very far, I was struck by the priority that was placed on encouraging the spread and use of the language, which, as Schor explains, dates to Zamenhof’s earliest efforts.
On March 15th, The Leonard Lopate Show also interviewed Schor in a half-hour program titled Building A Language for All. The interview, which can be streamed online for free, is described this way:
Poet and scholar Esther Schor joins us to discuss her book, […]which details the history of a constructed language called Esperanto. She tells the story of Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, a Polish Jew, who in 1887 had the utopian dream of creating a universal language that would end political and ethnic conflict, and enable everyone to communicate.
On March 30th, the Stanford News published an article titled Stanford students explore the vitality of the modern Esperanto movement, detailing the research of students Bri Mostoller and Angelica Previte, who “became fascinated with Esperanto when they took a class in it at Stanford’s Bechtel International Center.” [Could this be the class taught for many years by our own Trio Universero? –Ed.]
[They] hope to fill a gap in existing research on Esperanto through their work. Rather than study linguistic properties, they instead focused on the community of Esperanto speakers. As ‘integrated observers,’ they sought to paint a vivid portrait of Esperanto today. Though they hope their research will garner interest from scholarly journals, Mostoller and Previte are more eager to engage the Esperanto community and the public at large.
The project won the Department of Anthropology’s “Beagle II” award, a travel grant for undergraduate student researchers.