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What Is to Be Done?

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ISBN-10: 0801495474

ISBN-13: 9780801495472

Edition: N/A

Authors: Nikolai G. Chernyshevsky, Michael R. Katz, William G. Wagner

List price: $24.95
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 1/20/1989
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 464
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.694
Language: English

Together with Nikolai Dobrolyubov and Dmitry Pisarev, Nikolai Chernyshevsky was a leading radical thinker of the mid-nineteenth century. Championing materialism, utilitarianism, and a rather naive idea of social and historical progress, he infused his very influential literary criticism with his social views. His most important philosophical work is The Anthropological Principle in Philosophy (1860), in which he argued that social environment determines human behavior and espoused a rational egoism; the treatise became the underpinning of much subsequent radical literature. Chernyshevsky wrote his most famous book, What Is to Be Done? (1863), while imprisoned for revolutionary activity. Almost devoid of artistic merit, deliberately unliterary, the novel celebrates female emancipation and the new radical intelligentsia, and offers a vision of a future utopia. Its ideas enormously inspired generations of Russian intellectuals, who regarded it as a major classic. It also has been mercilessly pilloried, first by Dostoyevsky in Notes from Underground, and more recently by Nabokov in The Gift.