Tomorrow marks the 24 year anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Formed largely by ex-Soviet countries, the establishment of the CIS was an important symbolic step away from the repressive Soviet-backed governments of the time. In this week’s PEN podcast, we feature Philip Roth talking about his involvement in promoting freedom of expression in Czechoslovakia in the 1970’s. This was the speech Roth gave when he was awarded the 2013 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, which honors a writer whose critically acclaimed work has drawn a wide audience and helps us to understand the human condition in original and powerful ways.