The University of Wisconsin Press

Memoir / Human Rights / Latin America / Judaica / Journalism


Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number
Jacobo Timerman
With a new introduction by Ilan Stavans
Translated by Toby Talbot, with a new foreword by Arthur Miller

The Americas
Ilan Stavans and Irene Vilar, Series Editors

“One of the most poignant testimonies ever written by a political prisoner. . . . A classic of world literature.”
—Molly Ivins, Texas Observer

“At two in the morning of April 15, 1977, twenty armed men in civilian clothes arrested Jacobo Timerman, editor and publisher of a leading Buenos Aires newspaper. Thus began thirty months of imprisonment, torture, and anti-Semitic abuse. . . . Unlike 15,000 other Argentines, ‘the disappeared,’ Timerman was eventually released into exile. His testimony [is] gripping in its human stories, not only of brutality but of courage and love; important because it reminds us how, in our world, the most terrible fantasies may become fact.”
—New York Times, Books of the Century

It ranks with Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem in its examination of the totalitarian mind, the role of anti-Semitism, the silence.”
—Eliot Fremont-Smith, Village Voice

It is impossible to read this proud and piercing account of [Timerman’s] suffering and his battles without wanting to be counted as one of Timerman’s friends.”
—Michael Walzer, New York Review of Books

Timerman was a living reminder that real prophets are irritants and not messengers of reassurance. He told it like it is, whether in Argentina, Israel, Europe, or the United States.”
—Arthur Miller

Jacobo Timerman (1923–1999) was born in the Ukraine, moved with his family to Argentina in 1928, and was deported to Israel in 1980. He returned to Argentina in 1984. Founder of two Argentine weekly newsmagazines in the 1960s and a commentator on radio and television, he was best-known as the publisher and editor of the newspaper La Opinión from 1971 until his arrest in 1977. An outspoken champion of human rights and freedom of the press, he criticized all repressive governments and organizations, regardless of their political ideologies. His other books include The Longest War: Israel in Lebanon; Cuba: A Journey; and Chile: A Death in the South.

A Spanish language edition of this title is also available from the UW Press:
Jacobo Timerman’s
Preso sin nombre, celda sin número, with forewords by Arthur Miller and Ariel Dorfman.

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cover of Timerman's English edition is black, red-orange, blue and white. Cold blue and white slashes represent bars. A torn photo of Timerman is to the left of the title, which is in a orange block.

August 2002
LC: 91-026346 HV
184 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Wisconsin edition not for sale in the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, and the British Commonwealth (except it may be sold in Canada)

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Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-18244-1
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  • Winner of a 1982 Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  • Selected by the New York Times for “Books of the Century”

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