Miklos Haraszti, 54, is one of Hungary's leading political writers and essayists, and a founder of the country's samizdat press and of the Democratic Opposition movement. In 1971, after being expelled from Budapest University for subversion, he was sent to work at a tractor factory--which became the basis for his book A Worker in a Workers' State, which put his writing on the blacklist until the fall of communism. From 1981 to 1989, he was an editor of Beszelo, one of the country's most significant samizdat magazines. His book The Velvet Prison addressed the constraints of artists and writers attempting to work in Hungary's soft socialism. As a founder of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), he participated in the 1989 Hungarian round table talks on the transition to free elections. From 1990 to 1994, he was an SZDSZ deputy in the Hungarian parliament. He is currently on the board of Hungarian Radio and teaches politics and media democratization at universities in Hungary and the United States.

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