滕彪文集
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滕彪文集
·我们不怕/Elena Milashina
·The Law On Trial In China
·自由有多重要,翻墙就有多重要
·你也会被警察带走吗
·Lawyer’s Detention Shakes China’s Rights Movement
·我来推推推
·许志永年表
·庄璐小妹妹快回家吧
·开江县法院随意剥夺公民的辩护权
·Summary Biography of Xu Zhiyong
·三著名行政法学家关于“公盟取缔事件”法律意见书
·公益诉讼“抑郁症”/《中国新闻周刊》
·在中石化上访
·《零八宪章》与政治正当性问题
·我来推推推(之二)
·我来推推推(之三)
·國慶有感
·我来推推推(之四)
·国庆的故事(系列之一)
·国庆的故事(系列之二)
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·我来推推推(之五)
·我来推推推(之六)
·净空(小说)
·作为反抗的记忆——《不虚此行——北京劳教调遣处纪实》序
·twitter直播-承德冤案申诉行动
·我来推推推(之七)
·关于我的证言的证言
·我来推推推(之八)
·不只是问问而已
·甘锦华再判死刑 紧急公开信呼吁慎重
·就甘锦华案致最高人民法院死刑复核法官的紧急公开信
·我来推推推(之九)
·DON’T BE EVIL
·我来推推推(之十)
·景德镇监狱三名死刑犯绝食吁国际关注
·江西乐平死刑冤案-向最高人民检察院的申诉材料
·我来推推推(之十一)
·法律人的尊严在于独立
·我来推推推(之十二)
·听从正义和良知的呼唤——在北京市司法局关于吊销唐吉田、刘巍律师证的听证会上的代理意见
·一个思想实验:关于中国政治
·公民维权与社会转型(上)——在北京传知行社会经济研究所的演讲
·公民维权与社会转型——在北京传知行社会经济研究所的演讲(下)
·福州“7•4”奇遇记
·夏俊峰案二审辩护词(新版)
·摄录机打破官方垄断
·敦请最高人民检察院立即对重庆打黑运动中的刑讯逼供问题依法调查的公开信
·为政治文明及格线而奋斗——滕彪律师的维权之路
·“打死挖个坑埋了!”
·"A Hole to Bury You"
·谁来承担抵制恶法的责任——曹顺利被劳动教养案代理词
·国家尊重和保障人权从严禁酷刑开始
·分裂的真相——关于钱云会案的对话
·无国界记者:对刘晓波诽谤者的回应
·有些人在法律面前更平等(英文)
·法律人与法治国家——在《改革内参》座谈会上的演讲
·貪官、死刑與民意
·茉莉:友爱的滕彪和他的诗情
·萧瀚:致滕彪兄
·万延海:想起滕彪律师
·滕彪:被迫走上它途的文學小子/威廉姆斯
·中国两位律师获民主奖/美国之音
·独立知识分子——写给我的兄弟/许志永
·滕彪的叫真/林青
·2011年十大法治事件(公盟版)
·Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Under Assault
·《乱诗》/殷龙龙
·吴英的生命和你我有关
·和讯微访谈•滕彪谈吴英案
·吴英、司法与死刑
·努力走向公民社会(视频访谈)
·【蔡卓华案】胡锦云被诉窝藏赃物罪的二审辩护词
·23岁青年被非法拘禁致死 亲属六年申请赔偿无果
·5月2日与陈光诚的谈话记录
·华邮评论:支持中国说真话者的理由
·中国律师的阴与阳/金融时报
·陈光诚应该留还是走?/刘卫晟
·含泪劝猫莫吃鼠
·AB的故事
·陈克贵家属关于拒绝接受两名指定律师的声明
·这个时代最优异的死刑辩词/茉莉
·自救的力量
·不只是问问而已
·The use of Citizens Documentary in Chinese Civil Rights Movements
·行政强制法起草至今23年未通过
·Rights Defence Movement Online and Offline
·遭遇中国司法
·一个单纯的反对者/阳光时务周刊
·“颠覆国家政权罪”的政治意涵/滕彪
·财产公开,与虎谋皮
·Changing China through Mandarin
·通过法律的抢劫——答《公民论坛》问
·Teng Biao: Defense in the Second Trial of Xia Junfeng Case
·血拆危局/滕彪
·“中国专制体制依赖死刑的象征性”
·To Remember Is to Resist/Teng Biao
·Striking a blow for freedom
·滕彪:维权、微博与围观:维权运动的线上与线下(上)
·滕彪:维权、微博与围观:维权运动的线上与线下(下)
·达赖喇嘛与中国国内人士视频会面问答全文
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An Editor Speaks Out: Teng Biao, Darkness Before Dawn, and ABA

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/editor-speaks-out-teng-biao-darkness-before-dawn-bar-jon-malysiak/?published=t
   
   An Editor Speaks Out: Teng Biao, Darkness Before Dawn, and the American Bar Association
   
   

   Jon Malysiak
   
   In light of present controversies pertaining to China’s influence on Western publishers and academic institutions, as well as a wonderful recent profile piece about Teng Biao in the New York Times, I thought now was an appropriate time to come forward with my own story. I was the Executive Editor at ABA Publishing (the publishing division of the American Bar Association) behind what I’ve come to call The Teng Biao Affair.
   
   In October 2014, my editorial director at the time presented me with an article from the New York Review of Books profiling Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao. The article featured a photograph of Teng holding a copy of the China Law Deskbook, one of ABA Publishing’s top-selling titles. As I was particularly interested in acquiring books related to human rights issues, my director felt this might be something I’d be particularly keen to pursue.
   
   I emailed Teng and pitched him the idea of writing a book about his experiences trying human rights cases in China. As it turned out, Teng was already in the early stages of writing a manuscript and didn’t as yet have a publisher. Together we developed a proposal for his memoir, tentatively titled Darkness Before Dawn. I explained how the acquisition process worked and scheduled my presentation of Teng’s proposal for the upcoming November 2014 acquisitions meeting, typically attended by the publisher, the directors of marketing, production, and editorial; and the acquisitions editors.
   
   I went into that meeting feeling confident that Teng’s proposal would be favorably received, as the book seemed tailor-made for the ABA.
   
   Sadly, the response was not what my editorial director nor I could ever have anticipated. The initial concern was that it wouldn’t appeal to American readers. One of the senior managers even asked, and I don’t think rhetorically: “Who gives a shit about little Chinese widget-makers?” Amid heated accusations of racism – and a reluctance on the part of other senior managers at the table to condemn this particular manager’s offensive remark – additional concerns were expressed that the publication of a book that might be seen as critical of the Chinese government would put the work of the ABA’s ROLI (Rule of Law Initiative) team at risk in China.
   
   I hadn’t spoken to anyone at ROLI and this meeting was the first time any such concern was expressed to me.
   
   We decided to table the discussion until we’d received feedback from NBN (National Book Network), our distributor. We often relied on the input of our distributor before making any final decisions about publication, especially when the acquisitions team was not in unanimity.
   
   NBN’s feedback was split as well. One response was that they couldn’t recommend we move forward, while another thought it could be a successful book if it was written in a non-academic, compelling narrative style. I shared this feedback with my acquisitions team. And to my knowledge, there wasn’t any further discussion about it, at least none that I was a part of.
   
   A week or so later, my editorial director came to me and said I had approval to extend an offer to Teng for his book. My assumption was that he had received this approval from the Publisher. The chain of command at the time was such that outside of the monthly acquisitions meetings, I, as an Executive Editor, had very little direct interaction with the Publisher. Any such communication was filtered through my boss down to the editors. I saw no reason to question anything was different here.
   
   I emailed Teng the good news and extended an offer. He accepted. Then perhaps a week or two later, my editorial director came to me with the news that I had to rescind the offer. I asked him if the reason was concern that publication of such a book could jeopardize the work of ROLI in China and if that was what I should tell Teng. I was told yes.
   
   Teng’s response was very gracious. I apologized and said that while I didn’t agree with my publisher’s decision, I had to honor it. I then offered to send the proposal to a literary agent I knew whom I thought might be interested in representing him. I sent the proposal, and that was the end of my contact with Teng and involvement with Darkness Before Dawn. This was in early 2015.
   
   In April 2016, my publisher’s boss – ABA Publishing’s Director of Business Services – came into my office and said I needed to meet with General Counsel. An article was about to be published accusing the ABA of cancelling Teng’s book out of fear of recrimination by the Chinese government. My email correspondence with Teng was included in the article, though my name was not released as per Teng’s request to the media.
   
   It was clear from the onset that the ABA was in damage control mode. I met with General Counsel and related the events surrounding my contact with Teng much as I have related them here. I was due to leave for two weeks’ vacation in England the next day. General Counsel thanked me and said they would be in touch as needed while I was away.
   
   The next morning, the story was picked up by various media outlets, both nationally and internationally. The gist of these articles was not overly favorable to the ABA. I went off to England expecting the worst. I received an email from the ABA’s Director of Media Relations that I was not to speak to anyone in the media and to refer all queries from the press directly to her.
   
   The statement that the ABA released in response to these articles and to a call for clarification from Senator Marco Rubio and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, portrayed me as a rogue editor who had commissioned Teng’s book and moved forward with it without any supervision. My actions were termed “erroneous.” The reason the ABA gave for cancelling Teng’s book was that it wasn’t deemed profitable. In my response email to General Counsel, dated April 28, 2016, I wrote:
   
   "I extended the offer to Mr. Biao and then subsequently rescinded it based on what I believed to be the direction and approval of my manager. I would never - and have never - done either without the explicit approval of my manager at the time. What could I possibly have hoped to gain by going rogue and acting in such a manner without managerial consent? It doesn't make sense.
   
   " [The] statement suggests that I acted completely on my own and twice acted without proper authorization. This is completely untrue and is extremely damaging to my professional reputation, which has always been excellent."
   
   I went on to say:
   
   "While there was certainly a limited discussion regarding the financials of the project - and with NBN via email, correspondence I have shared with you - I maintain the reasons that were communicated to me by my manager at the time for rescinding the offer were due to sensitivities about the ABA's work in China and not because of concern about the book's profitability. These sensitivities were at the heart of the discussion about the proposal at the acquisitions meeting, a meeting that [the Director of Business Services] did not attend. If financials were truly the determining factor, we wouldn't move forward with at least half the books we publish…
   
   "It is all very damaging and very disappointing. The fact that my name hasn't been released to the public is little consolation as most who might read these statements or write about them in the press know or can easily piece together the identity of the editor at the heart of this mess."
   
   In response to which I received an email from General Counsel stating they would be available to speak with me when I was back in the office.
   
   Upon my return, a week later, ABA Publishing’s Director of Business Services, one of those involved in drafting the statement, called me into his office and accused me of stupidity. He informed me that ABA senior management had been clamoring for him to fire me but he wasn’t going to do so because I was simply too valuable to him as an employee. He reminded me: “This organization is bigger than you. You serve the ABA.” And then he proceeded to express how pained he was at the fact I’d re-tweeted an article from the New York Times calling the ABA’s statement into question.

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