My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

Alexander Herzen Dwight Macdonald Constance Garnett


My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

  • Title: My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen
  • Author: Alexander Herzen Dwight Macdonald Constance Garnett
  • ISBN: 9780520042100
  • Page: 499
  • Format: Paperback



Alexander Herzen s own brilliance and the extraordinary circumstances of his life combine to place his memoirs among the greatest works 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, propagandist, and political actor FiftyAlexander Herzen s own brilliance and the extraordinary circumstances of his life combine to place his memoirs among the greatest works 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, propagandist, and political actor Fifty years after his death, Lenin revered him as the father of Russian revolutionary socialism Tolstoy said he had never met another man with so rare a combination of scintillating brilliance and depth His monumental autobiography is an unparalleled record of his and his century s remarkable life.Herzen s story of his privileged childhood among the Russian aristocracy is lit with the insight of a great novelist With a trained historian s sense of the interaction of people and events, he limns the grand line of revolutionary development from the earliest stirrings of Russian radicalism throughthe tumultuous ideological debates of the international His close friends and enemies Marx, Wagner, Mill, Bakunin, Garibaldi, Kropotkin are brought brilliantly alive Dwight Macdonald s knowledgeable and fluent abridgment makes this great work readily available to the modern reader.


Recent Comments "My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen"

One of the most endearing and remarkable books I have ever read. I own the original four volumes of his memoirs, not the one volume abridged version. I was so sad when the journey came to an end. Herzen and I had become close friends. I miss him.

I find Herzen a most personable and approachable man. I admire his great personal confidence and independence of mind, one entirely unafraid of confronting shop-worn ideas and contradicting the pious of whatever faith. And through it all - and I do mean all - a close observer of revolutionary Europe and European revolutionaries and socialists. I now understand fully his vaunted rejection of abstractions and disembodied notions of "freedom" and "justice." And I can read books such as Venturi's "R [...]

Read some of this in Russian in the 70s. Must review my notes before reviewingDo recall his imprisonment in the 1830's, and Paris around the 1848 revolution. Peasants were placed under police instead of Gogol's assessors: police who were "predatory, carnivorous, corrupt" (223, '82 ed). After reviewing, some notes here.On Proudhon bringing out Voix du Peuple from prison: Few subscribers, but up to 60,000 in street sales, 30 times more expensive the next day. Fines questioned, for ex for an accoun [...]

Не надо думать, что это скучная классика. Прекрасная книга, раскрывающая подробности интересной жизни интересного человека, дающая увлекательное и при этом простое описание революционного движения тех времён изнутри, т.е. совсем не так, как рассказывали в школе. Спокойная [...]

Beyond doubt, the most beloved literary monument among all genres in my library. Going through this 700 page abridgement from the original four tomes can only leave you with the desire to read the original Constance Garnett translation of complete four volumes. Its so unfortunate that Dwight MacDonald decided not to include that long essay, 'A Family Drama' in this abridgement for editorial reasons.Its very hard that something socio-politically meaningful and interesting can be uttered about Her [...]

For me this was two books, the first half about someone born into Russian higher society during the 19th century and who grew up to agitate authorities already leery or revolutionary activity, and the second half about the man in Europe watching the revolutions of other nations as an outsider. But through it all is one man, Alexander Herzen, who oddly, I never felt as if I got to know even though we read quite a few of his thoughts.To be fair this book is an abridgment of the larger, 4 volume se [...]

Is Constance Garnett's really the only English translation of this? Ugh.

"L'arte e i lampi estivi della felicità individuale, sono gli unici beni che abbiamo".

A Russian exile that ran in the same circles, but did not like, the progenitors of communism and socialism.

I have yet to read the entirety of Herzen's masterwork, but from what I've read, I consider him a friend.

I'm stealing the copy from the blurb:"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, propagandist, and political actor. Fifty years after his death, Lenin revered him as the father of Russian revolutionary socialism. Tolstoy said he had never met another man 'with so rare a combination of scintillating brilliance and depth.' His monumental autobiography is an unpa [...]

Отчего людей не устраивает та жизнь, которой они живут? Почему они грезят о прошлом, ругают настоящее время и с пессимизмом смотрят в будущее? Разве не были подвержены таким же чувствам предшествующие поколения? Их аналогично не устраивала действительность, вынуждая в тёп [...]

So many different sides to this book. A brilliant encyclopedia of a certain slice of intellectual history. A meditation on youth and memory. The most fascinating and excruciating description of the experience of losing one's wife to a pretentious poseur. Penetrating glimpses of Russia. The Russian version is much better--large, important passages are dropped in the English translation. But still. A memoir that feels as though it encompasses a life, with growth, sorrow, multiple forks, and ever p [...]

a man on par with Dostoevsky in importance, Alexander Herzen was a foremost member of the 19th-century Russian revolutionary movement that paved the way for Lenin and Bolshevik/Menshivik conflicts to come. Fueled by French philosophy, Herzen recalls the eagerness of Russia to reform itself in the midst of generational conflicts and new ideas continuously wanting to overtake those of the past. Great story of an amazing life during the birth of modern Russia and parts of modern Europe! Any sociali [...]

A call to lives of action. Why isn't Herzen more widely read in the West? His thoughts are what inspired Tolstoi and that's all I'm going to say.

To be honest, fairly hard going at times.

Truly fascinating.

"Этим китайским царством материальной, животной жизни, чинолюбия, крестолюбия, деньголюбия, взяточниства"Несколько сотен лет прошло, а всё одно и тоже

Great companion to Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia.

Someday (probably not) I'll finish the unabridged version in four volumes, but even having read only the first two books I can say this is one of the three or four best memoirs I've found.


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    Posted by:Alexander Herzen Dwight Macdonald Constance Garnett
    Published :2018-09-13T21:36:59+00:00