From Publishers Weekly
Drawing on his autobiography—from Soviet refusenik to Israeli cabinet minister – Sharansky distinguishes between "fear" and "free" societies. He spends a significant amount of time taking on conservative "realists" who prize stability in international relations, as well as liberals who he says fail to distinguish between flawed democracies that struggle to implement human rights and authoritarian or totalitarian states that flout human rights as a matter of course. Sharansky criticizes those who argue that democracy is culturally contingent and therefore unsuited for Muslim societies. Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he mentions documented Israeli human rights abuses, but places the bulk of the blame for the conflict on the dictatorial systems prevalent in Arab societies. He also weighs in on the vexing subject of how to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from the "new anti-Semitism." Such criticism must pass the "3D" test of "[no] demonization, double standards, or delegitimation." Sharansky does not grapple deeply with the current situation in Iraq, but his opinions throughout, honed through years in a Soviet prison and in the corridors of power, feel earned.
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"For opinion makers, I would put [this] on your recommended reading list...[Sharansky] is an heroic figure. It's a great book." -- President George W. Bush
"Provocative and important... Sharansky's argument reinforces his belief that only democratic societies can create real peace in the world." -- Philadelphia Inquirer, February 16, 2005
"This book has the merit of straightforwardness... [it's] written with vigor, argued with panache and imbued with the fierce conviction..." -- New York Times, February 12, 2005
"[A] fast-paced read." -- New York Post, December 5, 2004
"[This] book can be a blueprint for measurable, positive change... in the Palestinian Authority [and] Arab world as a whole." -- National Review, December 27, 2004
"the perfect gift for friends or family members..." -- New York Sun November 9, 2004