The Discovery of Chance by Aileen M. Kelly
The Life and Thought of Alexander Herzen

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These hidden strands in Herzen’s thought, painstakingly uncovered here by Aileen Kelly, provide yet another compelling reason we should read the melancholy old Russian again and recognize, in his anguished attempt to defend human freedom in dark times, amid all the cruelty of history, that he is truly our contemporary.
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Synopsis

The intellectual Alexander Herzen was as famous in his day as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Aileen Kelly presents the first fully rounded study of the farsighted genius whom Isaiah Berlin called the forerunner of much twentieth-century thought. For Herzen, history, like Darwinian nature, was an improvisation both constrained and encouraged by chance.
 

About Aileen M. Kelly

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Aileen Kelly is Fellow of King's College and Reader in Intellectual History and Russian Culture, Emerita, at the University of Cambridge.
 
Published May 9, 2016 by Harvard University Press. 608 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Michael Ignatieff on May 20 2016

These hidden strands in Herzen’s thought, painstakingly uncovered here by Aileen Kelly, provide yet another compelling reason we should read the melancholy old Russian again and recognize, in his anguished attempt to defend human freedom in dark times, amid all the cruelty of history, that he is truly our contemporary.

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