The Thinking Reed

The Thinking Reed:Intellectuals and the Soviet State from 1917 to the Present

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“Extraordinarily impressive.” —Observer

This panoramic account of political culture in the Soviet Union, by one of the leading voices of unofficial radical socialism, examines the way in which cultural life in the arts, philosophy and historiography has been able to withstand the persistent efforts of the “statocracy” to extinguish independent thought.


  • Kagarlitsky’s analysis ... is the most acute and substantial so far available ... Among the utterly absorbing acts of witness now reaching us from the Soviet Union, this chronicle, with its proudly Pascalian title, occupies an eminent place.

    George SteinerThe Sunday Times
  • An excellent cram course in Soviet intellectual history for the non-specialist civilian.

    The Voice Literary Supplement
  • This extraordinarily impressive book, full of surprising insights, shows the intensity of unofficial life behind officaldom.

    Anthony BarnettObserver