A prominent dissident during the communist period in Poland, Adam Michnik spent six years as a political prisoner. In the 1970s, he was a founding member of the Committee for the Defense of Workers, and of the Flying University, an underground network that brought together intellectuals and worker activists. Michnik was a key Solidarity activist throughout the 1980s and a negotiator for the Solidarity team during the Roundtable Talks in 1989 that brought communist rule in Poland to a peaceful end. Between 1989 and 1991, he served in the Sejm, Poland's Parliament.
Michnik is the founder and editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's first post-socialist independent daily. He is the author of many books, including Letters from Freedom: Post Cold War Realities and Perspectives (UC Press, 1998), The Church and the Left (1991), Letters from Prison and Other Essays (UC Press, 1986), and, most recently of In Search of Lost Meaning: The New Eastern Europe (2011).