The forcible super-imposition of Marxism as the orthodoxy of the Soviet state obliterated, for some three generations, the spontaneity of Russian thought, creating the unfortunate image of Russians as automatons printing out quotations from Marx and Lenin. In recent years, as Marxism became less and less viable as a serious intellectual option for its wards, that long hidden spontaneity has reemerged, in puzzling fragments.
Andrzej Walicki’s compendium of Russian prerevolutionary thought provides the background for understanding that spontaneity. Painstakingly, he compiles concise reports on the personalities and texts of that forgotten Russia. In justice to Professor Walicki, his book is rather more interesting than his sub...
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