Trim: 6½ x 9¼
978-0-7391-0594-8 • Paperback • February 2004 • $46.99 • (£36.00)
James F. Pontuso is Elliot Professor of Political Science at Hampden-Sydney College.
Chapter 1 A Chronicle of Terror
Chapter 2 Solzhenitsyn's Stalin
Chapter 3 Solzhenitsyn's Lenin
Chapter 4 Solzhenitsyn's Marx
Chapter 5 The Consequences of Marxism in the Soviet Union and Elsewhere
Chapter 6 Solzhenitsyn on the West
Chapter 7 On a Revival of the Spirit
As a political thinker, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was never much appreciated in the United States. And soon, the half-century long Cold War and why it had to be waged will be all but forgotten. In the meantime, a soft Marxism still seems to prevail in the academy and to some extent in popular culture as well. James Pontuso's Assault on Ideology means to right this situation. He sets out for us a lucid, sympathetic rendering of the political thought he finds pervasive in Solzhenitsyn's writings. With Solzhenitsyn, he retraces the atrocities of Communist regimes to their source in the misguided theories of Karl Marx and even to some extent in the very principles that gave rise to modern western liberalism. Pontuso forces us to weigh the accuracy and importance of Solzhenitsyn's analysis of communism and of western ambivalence in its face. In doing so, he makes us reflect not only on recent history, but on how we might best confront the new challenges we are now meeting in the twenty-first century.
— Delba Winthrop, Harvard University
James Pontuso's elegantly written and brilliant book was the first and remains the best account of the many and varied connections between Solzhenitsyn's courageous anti-ideological literary genius and the enduring concerns of the tradition of political philosophy. Solzhenitsyn is one of the two or three most important and the single most admirable writers of the 20th century, and Pontuso has provided an indispensable guide to how we can learn from and be ennobled by his greatness.
— Peter Augustine Lawler, Berry College