This is a timely book, keyed to meet the demand school and libraries are making for a book on democracy for young people. The authors have skillfully paralleled steps in the development of the idea of freedom, from 1214 and the Magna Carta to the present. They have done this by taking incidents, characters, abroad and at home, and showing how each contributed to the development, and how each step meant fighting for the right. The personalities included cover a wide range, -- Savonarola, Martin Luther, Niemoller, Cromwell, Gutenberg, Garibaldi, Ziska, George Washington, Demosthenes and Patrick Henry, Roger Williams, Socrates and Benjamin Franklin, Roger Bacon and Thomas Edison, Mark Twain and Thomas Mann and so on. Politicians, religious reformers, patriots, artists, writers, financiers, scientists, all find their place in this seven century old conflict. At the close, the contrast of life in the U.S. and in modern Germany, Russia, Italy is briefly dramatized.