About the book
Unlike all other scholarly works hitherto published, this monograph surveys the fates of the concepts of “philistinism” and “intelligentsia” from 19th century Russia to Stalin’s Soviet Union.
“By taking this story through the formative period of Soviet history, the author has made Soviet ideology and its practices much more understandable. It has become fashionable nowadays to dismiss ideas as somehow unimportant. Vihavainen’s book is a superb and much needed corrective to that misguided notion. The main virtue of the book is its originality and the lack of any competition.”
-Richard Stites, Professor of History, Georgetown University.
“I do not know of any books on this subject which would combine different ideas and points of view so well as does this book. Vihavainen writes in a manner which is scientific and artistic at the same time. It is very rare in scholarship. And, yet, he writes like a true historian, grounding his work in facts and documents.”
-Pekka Pesonen, Professor of Russian Literature, University of Helsinki.