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Sharansky compellingly argues that distinct group identities within a culture are an essential part of a successful democracy and that attempts to bleach out or deny identity can have catastrophic results. Much of his argument is shaped and funneled through his experience as a political prisoner in the Soviet gulags and later as a citizen and activist in Israel. Though one is inclined to ask if Sharansky means anything more with his usage of "identity" than religion, he still makes clear points about contemporary Jewish and Muslim identity. His most intriguing discussions center on the postidentity crisis that many of the developed nations find themselves facing. Stefan Rudnicki's deep voice enables a stronger foreboding tone for Sharansky's words. His light use of accents for quotes provides context without exaggeration. Most important, Rudnicki patiently works through the text with shifting emphasis and pauses to allow for listener understanding during the more cerebral elements of Sharansky's writings. A Perseus hardcover. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.