Balfour Books, LLC

Natan SharanskyNatan Sharansky is a former Soviet refusenik and prisoner, Israeli politician, human rights activist and author. As a child, he was a chess prodigy. When incarcerated in solitary confinement, he claims to have maintained his sanity by playing chess against himself in his mind. Sharansky was denied an exit visa to Israel in 1973. The reason given for denial of the visa was that he had been given access, at some point in his career, to information vital to Soviet national security and could not now be allowed to leave. After that Sharansky became a human rights activist and spokesperson for the Moscow Helsinki Group. Sharansky was one of the founders of the Refusenik movement in Moscow.