Many of the world's most important historical figures were imprisoned for holding unpopular or unorthodox beliefs. They used their time behind bars to write books that shaped the course of history. This collection of new essays offers a wide-ranging examination of influential works written--in whole or in part--while their authors were in prison or exile. Each chapter explores a different text and contains a brief biography and summary of the circumstances surrounding the author's imprisonment, along with a critical examination of the writing and its legacy. Authors covered include Plato, Thomas Paine, Gandhi, Thoreau, Bertrand Russell, Hitler and Martin Luther King, Jr.