Midpassage : Alexander Herzen and European revolution, 1847-1852 /
Judith E. Zimmerman.
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, c1989.
xvi, 305 p., [6] p. of plates : ill. --
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Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, c1989.
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Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1989-01-13:
With the collapse of the ``Westernizer'' circle in 1847, wealthy Russian socialist Alexander Herzen fled Moscow with his frail wife Natalie, their three children and his mother. In the five years covered by this vibrant biographical study of the emigre revolutionary, his wife had a sexual affair that shattered their communal living arrangements; she then died of pneumonia; Herzen also lost a son in a shipwreck and his mother died. Half-mad with grief and rage, he roamed from Nice to Lausanne, finally settling in London where he lived in close proximity to Karl Marx, who spurned him as a ``Russian nationalist.'' Besides losing his family during these years, Herzen lost his optimism; in Paris while the 1848 revolution gave way to reaction, the journalist-publisher discovered his role as gadfly of the radical movement and interpreter of Russia to the West. This is a remarkable, fresh portrait of an exile who lost his youthful idealism only to become a tougher, more effective political figure. Zimmerman is professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. (Mar.)
Appeared in Choice on 1989-10:
In contrast to Edward Hallett Carr's classic The Romantic Exiles (1933), which dealt with Alexander Herzen's entire exile period from 1847 until his death in 1870, and Edward Acton's excellent Alexander Herzen and the Role of the Intellectual Revolutionary (CH, Dec '79), which treats the years 1847-63, Zimmerman's scholarly monograph focuses primarily on the first five years of Herzen's exile from Russia. Zimmerman uses the latest scholarship and concentrates not only on Herzen's intellectual transition during a formative period of his exile, but also on the many relationships he developed with European radicals, such as Proudhon and Mazzini. The author also points out how Herzen's new contacts helped him developed a new role for himself--that of a revolutionary journalist. Endnotes, bibliography, and index. Recommended for graduate libraries. -W. G. Moss, Eastern Michigan University
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, January 1989
Booklist, February 1989
Choice, October 1989
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