Cleaver's first book was very different from this collection of short writings and talks, many of which appeared in Ramparts. Soul on Ice was product, a distillation of intellectual biography and personal experience. This book is process. Quite apart from its ad lib style and ad hoc subject matter, Cleaver seems to be in the beginning of the middle of working political things out and thinking them through. This book's retrospective facets (such as Cleaver's accounts of his introduction to the Black Panthers) are part of his manifest effort to identify the means and ends of black liberation. The introduction by Robert Scheer outlines the events which forced Cleaver's ""choice of flight or death in prison"" this winter. Wherever he is now, we have here an expression of his reckless energy and intelligence which will sustain the impact of Soul on Ice.