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Russian Thinkers [Format Kindle]

Isaiah Berlin , Henry Hardy , Aileen Kelly

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Revue de presse

The enduring vitality of Berlin's characterisation of Russian thought is demonstrated by the publication [...] of a new edition of Russian Thinkers, painstakingly revised and augmented by Henry Hardy ... a series of sparkling and sympathetic essays (Times Literary Supplement)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Isaiah Berlin witnessed the excesses of the Russian Revolution as a child, and in becoming one of the key liberal intellects of the last century some of his most important contributions were on the subject of Russia and the concept of freedom. In the ten essays gathered here, Berlin addresses the great Russian minds of the nineteenth century: Herzen, Bakunin, Turgenev, Belinsky and Tolstoy, as well as exploring the political and social revolutions they inspired and responded to. Berlin himself describes this extraordinary outpouring as ‘the largest single Russian contribution to social change in the world’.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1479 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 448 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Classics; Édition : 2Rev Ed (7 mars 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00BB1Y0LM
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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  18 commentaires
27 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 interesting and focused 26 mars 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
It should be noted first that Isaiah Berlin knew his material backwards and forwards; the book bears the mark of exhaustive study. Russian Thinkers is a collection of essays on Russian luminaries, including Alexander Herzen, Belinsky, Tolstoy, Bakunin, and the populists (including Chernyshevsky). It would be helpful to have background knowledge about Russian history in this time period (mainly 19th century) before reading the book, but it is also intersting as a philosophical text, and Berlin expertly outlines the thought of these major figures. The main obstacle to reading this work may be Berlin's writing style, which is initially somewhat clunky (strangely, I found this to be the case mainly in his famous essay "The Hedgehog and the Fox"), but it does flow better once one gets used to it. Like all philosophical texts, though, what at first seems abstruse often proves rewarding and enriching. This book would be of interest to those who enjoy history or philosophy. (note: if you like this text, Personal Impressions is also worth a look)
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Berlin at his best - the true fox 11 novembre 2004
Par Shalom Freedman - Publié sur Amazon.com
This study of Russian thinkers is profound and moving. Isaiah Berlin was capable of writing about 'ideas' and their ' development' in a constantly fascinating way. His most well- known essay ' The Hedgehog and the Fox' is in this volume and it seems that Berlin himself was one of those who knew many things and wanted to know many things. His political ideas also took the shape of recognizing conflicting value systems as having validity even when those came from within a single person. Here he writes about the great Russian social and political thinkers Tolstoy, Herzen,Belinsky , Bakunin , Turgenev with characteristic insight, irony and sympathy.

This is a volume anyone interested in the history of ideas should not miss.
46 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Liberal Predicament 15 juin 2002
Par Mir Harven - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is one of these intellectual & spiritual odysseys of the mind that, after you've digested them, remain embedded in the protoplasm of your mental being. All the Russian 19th century greats (except Pushkin and Dostoevsky ) are here: Herzen, Belinsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Bakunin. In a book so saturated with ideas, it is not easy to make a pick- my favorite ones are:
-the hedgehog and the fox metaphor ("The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing"). Human beings are categorized as either "hedgehogs" (whose lives are embodiment of a single, central vision of reality according to which they "feel", breathe, experience and think- "system addicts", in short. Examples include Plato, Dante, Proust and Nietzsche.) or "foxes" ( who live rather centrifugal than centripetal lives, pursue many divergent ends and, generally, possess a sense of reality that prevents them from formulating a definite grand system of "everything"-simply because they "know" that life is too complex to be squeezed into any Procrustean unitary scheme. Montaigne, Balzac, Goethe and Shakespeare are, in various degrees, foxes.)
-precarious position of liberalism-something Berlin was well aware of. A "non-belief belief", liberalism certainly doesn't satisfy "deeper" human needs; also, it managed, following its very nature, to stay away from planned genocides & siren songs of totalitarian power. Yet- Berlin has failed (maybe due to the "history of ideas" nature of this compilation of essays) to answer more fundamental questions plaguing liberal mindset: is it fit to grapple with the 20th/21st century burning issues ? Or- has it mutated into a dark parody of itself, making a pact with postmodern imperial power(s) as represented by X-Filesque military & financial "Free World" greedy elites which batten on the unenviable position of the much of the globe (Latin America, Africa, East Europe & the greater part of Asia) ?
-on strong side, essays on Herzen (Berlin's hero), Turgenev ("Fathers and Children" controversy) and Bakunin (juxtaposed to Herzen) are fresh, universal & not dated at all. Tolstoy is covered unsurpassably, and I doubt it can be done better. On the other hand, some essays, like those on Russia and 1848 revolutions, German Romanticism and Russian populism, although brilliantly weaven, are, in my opinion, more of historical interest than pertinent to our contemporary metastable anxiety condition.
Be as it may: this is an exquisite intellectual tapestry. Buy it.
19 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Highly Useful Historic Resource 27 octobre 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book provides an excellent introduction to the history of Russian thought. I supplemented it with the pertinent chapters of Billington's "The Icon and the Axe" to piece together a general outline of the evolution of Russian political philosophy. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention to Berlin's own philosophizing, but then that wasn't my objective. I found one of his general observations about Russian thought to be particularly useful, i.e. the tendency to follow an idea through to its fullest consequences, no matter how extreme or objectionable. The book nicely sets the stage for how Marxism was able to take hold, showing that it was in some ways an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, intellectual development. The problem is, now that the book has allowed me to cobble together a general framework of Russian thought, the only possible next step is to start directly reading Hegel and Marx! And who wouldn't try to put off a daunting task like that?
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 THINKING ABOUT "RUSSIAN THINKERS" 21 novembre 2007
Par Len Levinson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This is a very important book in my opinion, because it analyzes certain utopian ideas that produced chaos during the 20th Century, but remain popular today despite their horrible track record. Basically, this outstanding work of historical scholarship is about a group of Russian intellectuals who believed if they rid Russia of the monarchy, capitalism, and Russian Orthodox Church, life would be wonderful. So the Tsar and his family were killed, capitalism was wiped out, and the Russian Orthodox Church was suppressed. As we all know, paradise didn't ensue. Instead Russia ended up with the Gulag Archipeligo. How could so many brilliant intellectuals be wrong? Well, perhaps brilliant intellectuals aren't as brilliant as they imagine. If you want to understand the modern world, and the pitfalls of seemingly wonderful utopian ideas, this is the book to read. The author is a highly-respected historian, not a journalist slanting the facts in an effort to convince you to vote for his or her favorite candidate.
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