The main title of the book, From Darkness into Light, is a metaphor referring to the most important life–altering event in the author's life from a totalitarian dictatorship to living in the free world. The subtitle reflects his eyewitness account of events and experiences, captured in five stories, in chronological order, from his birth in 1938 in Budapest, Hungary, to when he is in the United States as twenty–six years old as a married man with a child, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the world's premier science and engineering institution, and ready to embark on living the American dream.Robert Ratonyi spent the first seven years of his life in an openly anti–Semitic country, suffering the loss of his father and many of his close relatives, uncles, aunts, and cousins, in the Holocaust. He then spent his adolescent years under the hard–core Stalinist communist dictatorship. He was brought up by a single mother, a Holocaust survivor, in a working–class neighborhood. According to contemporary American definition, the family lived in poverty, barely making it from paycheck to paycheck his uneducated and unskilled mother could provide as a manual laborer. As a freshman at the Technical University of Budapest, he participated in a peaceful student march on October 23, 1956, that turned into a bloody uprising against the regime. He was caught up in the uprising, hoping that Hungary could break free out of the "iron curtain" that separated the east from the west. When the Russians put down the revolution, he managed to escape to Austria on December 6, 1956, with no money or other earthly possessions, leaving behind his mother, family, and friends. He was single–mindedly focused on finding a new, free country where he could continue his university education. He went to the American Embassy in Vienna to apply for immigrating to the US but was told that the quota for Hungarian refugees was filled. The Canadians were actively seeking students who wanted to continue their education, and Robert Ratonyi ended up in Montréal, Canada, in February 1957.The last story ends when Robert Ratonyi succeeds in finishing his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964. This story demonstrates how an immigrant can become a contributor to society by taking risks, being willing to work hard, delaying gratification, learning English, and getting a good education.He is now semiretired as a portfolio manager and is a regular speaker on behalf of the William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. He and his wife live in Atlanta and are fervent supporters of the arts, education, as well as local Jewish organizations.