Motherland : A Philosophical History of Russia by Lesley Chamberlain
In this "searching intellectual history of modern Russia" (Kirkus), Lesley Chamberlain finds that during the last two centuries Russian intellectuals have asked two fundamental questions: "what makes a good man?" and "what is the right way to live?" In their attempts to answer these questions, these thinkers neglected the role of the individual, prioritizing instead the need to end injustice and autocracy. It was not until the eve of the revolution of 1917 that Russian philosophers came to grips with individualism, only to have this endeavor fragmented and forced underground by the totalitarian century that followed. In Motherland, which includes sections on key pre-Revolutionary philosophers Alexander Herzen, Vissarion Belinsky, Pyotr Chaadaev, Mikhail Bakunin, Nikolai Stankevich, and Ivan Turgenev, Lesley Chamberlain has produced a radical new interpretation of Russian intellectual history that gives a glimpse into the soul of that singular country.
Preface ix Preface to the U.S. Edition xvi Part I The Making of the Intelligentsia 3 1 The Men of the 1820 5 2 The Beautiful Souls 20 3 The New Men 47 4 The Populists 64 5 The Impact of Marx 79 6 The Silver Age 85 Part II The Making of Russian Philosophy 95 7 The Moral Map 97 8 Rejecting the View from Descartes 138 9 The Contest of Good and Evil 165 Part III Against Idealism: Cure or Undoing? 183 10 Lenin and the View from No One 185 Part IV The Long Tradition 201 11 How the Long Tradition Survived 203 12 On the Edge of Reason 248 A Comparative Chronology of Russian and Western Philosophers 285 Notes 288 Suggested Reading 314 Index 318