"This book can be read on two levels. One is the series of public issues that Natan Sharansky addresses with strong conviction: his belief that Palestinian democracy must precede Palestinian statehood; his consequent opposition to the Oslo agreement and the Gaza withdrawal, then to the Iran nuclear accord; his euphoria at the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel; his distress at the rise of anti-Semitism and at the religious and political rifts among Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. The other level is more significant, at least to me, having known Natan for about forty-five years. It is the personal and intellectual journey that he describes as he explains himself. Here is an exceptional man, schooled in Soviet doublethink, then finding his Jewish identity and his ideology as a free-thinker, separated from his new wife for a dozen years and locked for nine in the Gulag before rising to high Israeli leadership. Trauma victims know that recovery often depends on good people's support. That he had, giving him power to make from his suffering a lodestar that guides his judgments. You might disagree with him here and there, but you cannot help liking him, because you cannot help looking through the issues into his heart of idealism."—
David K. Shipler, a former New York Times Bureau Chief in Moscow and Jerusalem, is the author of seven books, including the best-seller Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams, and the Pulitzer Prize-winner Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land.