From Publishers Weekly
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“Fortunately, one of the greatest Jewish heroes alive today has jumped into this battle, armed with his usual weapons - wit, iconoclasm, erudition and courage. Having survived Soviet prisons, having survived years in Israeli politics with his reputation for independence and integrity intact, Natan Sharansky is now ready to lead the charge against those who are deluding themselves by denuding themselves…This twist makes Sharansky's argument fresh, powerful, compelling, and yes, subversive. Rather than joining the Jewish woe-is-me crowd lamenting that particularist Judaism cannot survive America's universalizing embrace, Sharansky fears that America, Europe and the West cannot survive modernity's universalizing embrace. Sharansky endorses a strong Jewish identity, a vital American identity, a vigorous Israeli identity, a proud Western identity, to preserve democracy… Sharansky's book should make us appreciate how lucky we are as Jews to be a part of such an inspiring story.”
“The Democratic Party's hopeful savior, Barack Obama, has made it clear that he will draw a sharp distinction between himself and John McCain through his approach to foreign policy and his emphasis on diplomacy and multi-nationalism. His commitment to restoring America's image and withdrawing from Iraq makes him the preferred candidate for much of Western Europe, and much of the world for that matter. However, Barack Obama's lead in world public opinion polls is something John McCain should highlight and embrace, rather than resist.
If Mr. McCain finds this strategy flawed, he should read Natan Sharansky's latest book, "Defending Identity," which discusses the crucial distinctions between the United States and much of the world, including the European bloc. Mr. Sharansky, a Jewish former Soviet dissident who spent years in the gulags for trying to hold the Soviet Union accountable to its international human-rights commitments, explains as his central thesis that identity without democracy is totalitarianism, but democracy without identification to the larger community is weak and doomed to fail. “