After Jesus Christ, Natan Sharansky is George Bush’s favorite philosopher. In early 2005, around the time of his second inaugural, the president praised Sharansky”ex-prisoner of the Soviet Gulag, former Israeli cabinet minister, and crusader for human rights”in effusive terms. Sharansky’s book The Case For Democracy was, in Bush’s words, part of his “presidential DNA,” a work which the leader of the free world recommended as required reading for anyone who desired to make sense of his foreign policy. It is well-nigh impossible to take this rhetoric seriously anymore, particularly in light of the failure to build democracy in nations like Iraq or Afghanistan, where undemocratic traditions so far seem to have won the battle against liberal universalism. Yet Sharansky is undaunted by these failures. In his new book, Defending Identity, he does not abandon his position, in light of these fiascos. Rather, he believes that democracies fail because they do not take account the necessity of identity.