My Past and Thoughts: Memoirs Volume 2

by Constance Garnett, Alexander Herzen

My Past and Thoughts: Memoirs Volume 2 Synopsis

Alexander Herzen's own brilliance and the extraordinary circumstances of his life combine to place his memoirs among the great testimonies of the modern era. Born in 1812, the illegitimate son of a wealthy Russian landowner, he became one of the most important revolutionary and intellectual figures of his time - as theorist, polemicist and political actor; and fifty years after his death Lenin pronounced him 'the father of Russian socialism'. My Past and Thoughts uniquely assimilates the personal to the historical, and is both a classic of autobiography an an unparalleled record of his century's remarkable life. His account of a privileged childhood among the Russian aristocracy is illuminated with the insight of a great novelist; his friends and enemies - Marx, Wagner, Mill, Bakunin, Garibaldi, Kropotkin - are brought brilliantly to life; and as a sceptical and free-thinking observer, he unerringly traces the line of revolutionary development, from the earliest stirrings of Russian radicalism through the tumultuous ideological debates of the International. 'His power of observation is extraordinary. He tells a story with the economy of a great reporter. His gift is for knowing not only what people are, but how they are historically situated. Somewhere in the pages of this hard, honest observer of what movements do to men, we shall find ourselves.' - V. S. Pritchett

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571245420
Publication date: 18th September 2008
Author: Constance Garnett, Alexander Herzen
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 418 pages
Categories: Autobiography: literary,

About Constance Garnett, Alexander Herzen

Alexander Herzen was born in Moscow in 1812 and educated at Moscow University. He entered government service but was denounced for his democratic and westernizing ideas. After inheriting a fortune on his father's death, he left Russia in 1847, never to return. He experienced the revolutions of 1848 in France and Italy, and settled in London in 1852, where his home became a mecca for Russian visitors and for an assortment of liberals and radicals. He wrote prolifically, embarking on the monumental and amorphous body of memoirs by which he is best known, the first two volumes of which appeared in 1861. He left London ...

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