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The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev (Library of Modern Russian History) Hardcover – 30 Oct 2016


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'Dmitry Likhachev was an astonishing figure: unique in his long, goal-directed life, his rather abstruse scholarly endeavour that somehow developed into a public role, yet at the same time an exemplary personality, telling us much about Russia itself. Vladislav Zubok's balanced, well-rounded and non-sentimentalized book should do him full justice.' --Robin Milner-Gulland, Emeritus Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Sussex,

'Dmitri Likhachev, who narrowly escaped death in the Gulag, was as much revered by Russians as Alexander Solzhenitsyn. But unlike that Old Testament thunderer, he spoke with the voice of scholarly reason. He passionately believed that Russia's history and culture were an essential part of a wider European tradition. In his fluent and meticulous account, Vladislav Zubok reminds us both of a significant historical figure, and of an enduring truth about a great country which is contested both by today's noisy Russian nationalists and by those who denounce them in the West.' --Sir Rodric Braithwaite

'Dmitry Likhachev's biography is a journey through the twentieth century, taking us from pre-revolutionary Petersburg to the Gulag and the blockade, the rediscovery of old Russian culture, the reframing of national identity, and the commanding heights of cultural politics. Vladislav Zubok does full justice to the life of this remarkable representative of the Russian intelligentsia.' - Michael David-Fox, Georgetown University, 'Amidst the whirlwinds of war, revolution, and state terror, few Russians did more to maintain the finest traditions of "Old Russia" and to assert the inviolability of the individual than Dmitry Likhachev, brilliant scholar, cultural preservationist, and public intellectual. Vladislav Zubok's masterful biography of the man dubbed "Russia's conscience" not only recounts one of the most remarkable Russian lives of the twentieth-century, it offers a timely reminder that even during its darkest hours Russia has been home to indomitable defenders of humanism and democratic values.' --Douglas Smith, author of Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs

About the Author

Vladislav Zubok is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He has previously taught at Stanford University, University of Michigan, Amherst College, Temple University and Ohio University and has served as a fellow at the National Security Archive, a non-government organization at the University of George Washington. His publications include A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev and Zhivago's Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia.

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