Russian Thinkers Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What, according to Berlin, did Tolstoy see as futile?

2. Who was Mikhail Bakunin's mentor?

3. How does Berlin describe Herzen's legacy?

4. What was the name of the committee in charge of government censorship?

5. How did Herzen see human society?

Short Essay Questions

1. What saying of Schelling's represents the relationship of artists to their times in Russian ideology of the mid-nineteenth century?

2. Who was Joseph de Maistre and what ideas did Tolstoy share with him?

3. Why, according to Berlin, did Tolstoy resist subscribing to a totalizing theory of history?

4. Describe the main ideas of Hegel's that influenced Herzen.

5. What was Leo Tolstoy's as a thinker, and how does Berlin see him?

6. What conspiracy group did the Second of April Committee unveil, and what was the result of the trial?

7. What problems did Herzen have with Hegelian philosophy?

8. What were the three accomplishments of the intellectuals who rose to prominence in the 1830s and 40s?

9. What example does Tolstoy use to explain why human beings cannot know all the actions and causes that affect their experiences?

10. Describe the difference between Herzen and Bakunin's personalities.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are the strengths of the kind of biography Berlin is practicing here? What are the limitations? What does Berlin show effectively? What questions remain unaddressed, or unresolved?

Essay Topic 2

What part did women play in the lives of the thinkers Berlin describes? Pick one or two authors or thinkers, and describe the influence the women in their lives had on their work.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the tension between Alexander Herzen and Ivan Turgenev as exemplars of the idea of artistic commitment and freedom respectively. What were the options for artists? Could they stand aside and simply create? How did other Russian writers resolve this opposition?

(see the answer keys)

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