Upon his release, Michnik became one of Poland's most outspoken political activists. In 1976 he wrote an influential article in which he proposed the application of steady pressure on government authorities to force democratic reform. In his most influential book, The Church and the Left (1976), he modified the leftist anti-Church stand in favor of a plan of cooperation between the anticommunist Left and the Catholic Church, which ultimately gave rise in 1980 to the Solidarity movement.
During 1981–1986, Michnik was twice arrested and spent almost four years in prison. In 1985 he penned an essay in which he proposed a rapprochement with the communists. A longtime advisor to the Solidarity movement and a participant in the 1989 Round Table discussions, he supported a coalition government with Solidarity and Communist Party members. He served as a deputy in the Sejm (Diet) during 1989–1991, and from May 1989 he has been editor of the Gazeta Wyborcza, arguably the most influential daily newspaper in Poland.
Michnik, Adam. The Church and the Left. Edited and translated by David Ost. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.