Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent from Ideology

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent from Ideology

by Daniel J. Mahoney
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Daniel Mahoney presents a philosophical perspective on the political condition of modern man through an exegesis and analysis of Solzhenitsyn's work. Mahoney demonstrates the tremendous, yet often unappreciated, impact of Solzhenitsyn's writing on twentieth century thinking through an examination of the writer's profoundly important critique…  See more details below

Overview

In Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Daniel Mahoney presents a philosophical perspective on the political condition of modern man through an exegesis and analysis of Solzhenitsyn's work. Mahoney demonstrates the tremendous, yet often unappreciated, impact of Solzhenitsyn's writing on twentieth century thinking through an examination of the writer's profoundly important critique of communist totalitarianism in a judicious and original mix of western and Russian, Christian and classical wisdom.

Editorial Reviews

Edward E. Ericson
In the natural progression of the ripening of Solzhenitsyn criticism, what has been needed is a book by a political theorist who is at home in the vocabulary of political philosophy and fully familiar with the categories and concepts of that field. Daniel Mahoney fills this niche and his study advances Sozhenitsyn criticism not by small or even medium sized increments, but by a quantum leap forward. Mahoney's book will stand as the book on Solzhenitsyn's politics, precisely because it does not treat politics as a self-contained and free-standing entity, i.e. it does not tear the politics out of the overarching moral vision. This book is simply superb..
National Review
Excellent new book.
Foreign Affairs
Mahoney reintroduces Solzhenitsyn as a political thinker who deserves to be included in the ranks of Raymond Aron, Jacques Maritain, Martin Buber, and John Dewey, among others.
First Things
Mahoney provides the most fair-minded and attractive account of Solzhenitsyn's political thought to date.
— Robert P. Kraynak
American Enterprise
Mahoney has written the book about the politics of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
American Political Science Review
This very remarkable and most timely book differs from others on Solzhenitsyn by highlighting his 'critique of ideology' and his 'recovery of the 'natural world.' Mahoney's exceptionally penetrating, wonderfully judcious, and always accessible analysis is on the cutting edge of thought today.
Perspectives On Political Science
Solzhenitsyn presents quite a challenge to anyone attempting a comprehensive assessment of his thought. Daniel Mahoney meets the challenge squarely in his excellent new book.
Sunday Telegraph
A much-needed meditation on the limit of politics, through a study of the writings of Solzhenitsyn.
— Anthony Daniels
Modern Age
By allowing Solzhenitsyn to speak above the din of those who dismiss him, Mahoney has given us a great gift. His interpretations of Solzhenitsyn's speeches, essays, and books are especially incisive in recognizing Solzhenitsyn's significane for political philosophy, and political philosophy's postmodern task of grappling with ideological evil.
Michael Novak
Everything Daniel Mahoney writes is worth reading and this book, in particular, shows how Solzhenitsyn's vision is even more relevant today than it was in the dark days of the Soviet Occupation.
Pierre Manent
Through its penetrating and comprehensive assessment of Solzhenitsyn's significance, Professor Mahoney's book is a lesson in human greatness as well as a powerful contribution to our understanding of modern tyranny.
James F. Pontuso
In an age of uninhibited materialism and crass popular culture, where the demands of the fast-paced 'information age' make us so busy we can entirely forget the spiritual realm, Mahoney's book on Solzhenitsyn is a refreshment for the soul. It reminds us that the most important possession of our time on earth is our character, and our character cannot be properly tended unless we allow it to pursue its longing for the true and eternal.
Delba Winthrop
Even before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn confessed that in his years of exile in the United States he had not taken up our habit of 'chatting at filling stations,' Americans had decided to disdain him. He was some sort of autocrat or authoritarian, a theocrat, a self-ordained prophet, not to mention an ingrate who had unkind things to say about America and other western nations. If Daniel Mahoney’s book does not cause us to rethink our opinions about Solzhenitsyn, it’s hard to imagine what could. Mahoney’s open-minded and manifestly intelligent analysis of a wide array of his writings shows Solzhenitsyn to be an ardent, albeit measured and reasoned defender of constitutionalism and democratic freedom. He is also, as Mahoney puts it, 'a postmodern foundationalist,' a thoughtful man who did not begin a Christian, but whose experience and reflections on human nature—his 'anthropological conclusions'—led him to its embrace. Not ignorance of the West, of its politics and way of life and of its philosophic underpinnings, but precisely a profound understanding of these enables Mahoney’s Solzhenitsyn to speak to the mind and heart of every human being.
George Weigel
Solzhenitsyn's literary genius as a chronicler of the totalitarian past is universally recognized. Daniel Mahoney persuasively suggests that the great Russian witness and writer is also a serious political philosopher with important things to say about the democratic future.
Alexis Klimoff
Mahoney offers a splendid and always reliable analysis of the political, philosophical, and moral dimensions of Solzhenitsyn's writings which demonstrates that contrary to widespread journalistic assumptions, Solzhenitsyn is deeply indebted to a long line of classic thinkers going all the way back to Plato and Aristotle.
First Things - Robert P. Kraynak
Mahoney provides the most fair-minded and attractive account of Solzhenitsyn's political thought to date.
Jay Nordlinger
Mahoney understands Solzhenitsyn as very few do, and he orients the great writer for us all. This is a book that should destroy the myth of Solzhenitsyn as an autocrat, a theocrat, a right-winger, etc. And it is as exquisitely written as it is conceived. A real pearl of a volume.
Sunday Telegraph - Anthony Daniels
A much-needed meditation on the limit of politics, through a study of the writings of Solzhenitsyn.
Perspectives on Political Science
Solzhenitsyn presents quite a challenge to anyone attempting a comprehensive assessment of his thought. Daniel Mahoney meets the challenge squarely in his excellent new book.
Edward E. Ericson Jr.
In the natural progression of the ripening of Solzhenitsyn criticism, what has been needed is a book by a political theorist who is at home in the vocabulary of political philosophy and fully familiar with the categories and concepts of that field. Daniel Mahoney fills this niche and his study advances Solzhenitsyn criticism not by small or even medium sized increments, but by a quantum leap forward. Mahoney's book will stand as the book on Solzhenitsyn's politics, precisely because it does not treat politics as a self-contained and free-standing entity, i.e. it does not tear the politics out of the overarching moral vision. This book is simply superb.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742569737
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
08/07/2001
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
200
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Jay Nordlinger
Mahoney understands Solzhenitsyn as very few do, and he orients the great writer for us all. This is a book that should destroy the myth of Solzhenitsyn as an autocrat, a theocrat, a right-winger, etc. And it is as exquisitely written as it is conceived. A real pearl of a volume.

Meet the Author

Daniel J. Mahoney is associate professor of political science at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. His previous books have dealt with Raymond Aron, Charles de Gaulle, Pierre Manent, and Aurel Kolnai. In 1999 he was awarded the prestigious Prix Aron.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >