The Origin of Russian Communism

Nicolas Berdyaev
Examines the forces of national history and character that shaped Soviet communism


A searching probe into the forces of national history and character that shaped Soviet communism.

Russia is still a 'mystery wrapped in an enigma' to many Westerners. In this book, Berdyaev makes clear the true nature of Russian communism. He lays bare its roots in Russian history, and in the Russian messianic tradition—that sense of holy mission that pervades Russian history.

"This book is calm, balanced, immensely scholarly and built upon a really profound knowledge both of what Communism is today and how for a hundred years past it has developed. Berdyaev has no illusions about it. Himself a convinced and devout Christian, he knows and states over and over again that Communism cannot possibly make any terms with Christianity, but is bound to seek its destruction. Yet he gives no impression at any point of losing the calm and lucid statement with which he judges it."
—Canon Roger Lloyd, The Observer

"Berdyaev tells us more about Russia in a chapter than most writers do in a book."
The News Chronicle

"He has an amazing insight into the social and religious currents which have determined his country's historical destiny . . . and from him much may be learned of the Russian mentality."
—Evgeny Lampert, Modern Christian Revolutionaries edited by Donald Attwater

Look Inside

Introduction - The Russian Idea of Religion and the Russian State          7
I. The Formation of the Russian Intelligentsia and Its Character. Slavophilism and Westernization          19
II. Russian Socialism and Nihilism         37
III. Russian Narodnichestvo and Anarchism          58
IV. Russian Nineteenth Century Literature and Its Predictions          76
V. Classical Marxism and Russian Marxism          94
VI. Russian Communism and the Revolution          114
VII. Communism and Christianity          158
Author's Notes          189

Product Details

  • 5 x 8.
  • 192pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1960
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06034-4

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  • $25.95 U.S.