The Soviet Mind: Russian Culture Under Communism

Author(s): Henry Hardy

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With a revised foreword by Brookings President Strobe Talbott and a new introduction by Berlin's editor, Henry Hardy. George Kennan, the architect of US policy toward the Soviet Union, called Isaiah Berlin "the patron saint among the commentators of the Russian scene." In The Soviet Mind, Berlin proves himself fully worthy of that accolade. Although the essays in this book were originally written to explore the tensions between Soviet communism and Russian culture, the thinking about the Russian mind that emerges is as relevant today under Putin's postcommunist Russia as it was when this book first appeared more than a decade ago. This Brookings Classic brings together Berlin's writings about the Soviet Union. Among the highlights are accounts of Berlin's meetings with the Russian writers in the aftermath of the war; a celebrated memorandum he wrote for the British Foreign Office in 1945 about the state of the arts under Stalin; Berlin's account of Stalin's manipulative "artificial dialectic"; portraits of Pasternak and poet Osip Mandel'shtam; Berlin's survey of Russian culture based on a visit in 1956; and a postscript reflecting on the fall of the Berlin Wall and other events in 1989. Henry Hardy prepared the essays for publication; his introduction describes their history. In his revised foreword, Brookings' Strobe Talbott, a longtime expert on Russia and the Soviet Union, relates the essays to Berlin's other work. The essays and other pieces in The Soviet Mind - which includes a new essay, "Marxist versus Non-Marxist Ideas in Soviet Policy" - represent Berlin at his most brilliant and are invaluable for policymakers, students, and anyone interested in Russian politics and thought - past, present, and future.

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Isaiah Berlin (1909-97) was a Russian-born British philosopher, educator and theorist, famed for his intellectual brilliance but also for his ability to explain complex ideas in a remarkably accessible style. He taught social and political theory for most of his life at Oxford University, where he was the founding president of Wolfson College. Henry Hardy is a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford University. He is one of Isaiah Berlin's literary trustees and has edited a number of other collections of Berlin's essays. Strobe Talbott assumed the presidency of the Brookings Institution in July 2002 after a career in journalism, government and academe. His immediate previous post was founding director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Before that, he served in the State Department from 1993 to 2001, first as ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, then as deputy secretary of state for seven years. Mr. Talbott entered government service after 21 years with Time magazine. As a reporter, he covered Eastern Europe, the State Department and the White House, then was Washington bureau chief, editor-at-large and foreign affairs columnist. He was twice awarded the Edward Weintal Prize for distinguished diplomatic reporting.

General Fields

  • : 9780815728870
  • : Brookings Institution
  • : Brookings Institution
  • : July 2016
  • : 216mm X 140mm
  • : United States
  • : September 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Henry Hardy
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 700.94709045
  • : General Adult
  • : 2016029971
  • : 250
  • : illustrations