Wei Jingsheng, who spent nearly two decades in prison for "counterrevolutionary" activities, has inspired generations of Chinese democracy activists, from the Tiananmen Square students to the wary citizens of Hong Kong. Wei's letters to Deng Xiaoping and other officials, and to his family, capture the verve, intelligence, audacity, and mordant humour of a man obstinately struggling to bring freedom to the world's most populous country. In this edition, Wei, who was released on "medical parole" in 1997, comments for the first time on how he wrote these eloquent and challenging documents, and what he hoped they would accomplish. Addressing economic and social reform, foreign relations and investments, Tibet and Taiwan, Wei's writings hold insights for students of China, human rights activists, and everyone concerned with the political future of the world. By embodying the hope for change, The Courage to Stand Alone represents an important addition to twentieth-century literature of dissent.