From Darkness to Light will be perceived as a milestone in the scholarship of the early Soviet period and of Soviet Marxism more generally. The boldness of this book resides in its innovative combination of two scholarly approaches that have long been distinct in the context of twentieth century Russia: intellectual and social history. The result is a book that will provoke much heated discussion among scholars of early Soviet culture as well as ideology scholars working outside the Russian context. It is a fine example of how interdisciplinary work on the early Soviet period ought to be done.
In this interdisciplinary and controversial work, Igal Halfin takes an original and provocative stance on Marxist theory, and attempts to break down the divisions between history, philosophy, and literary theory.
Impressive in its intellectual reach and close attention to the texts and practice of Bolshevism in its early years, Halfin's work raises challenging issues for informed readers and students of modern ideology and Russia who seek to plumb the phenomenon of Bolshevism.
This is a multi-faceted and very suggestive book. . . . remarkable.
. . . an important contribution. A sophisticated analysis of the pre-revolutionary and early Soviet language of class is his most impressive but not sole achievement. 'From Darkness to light' is a challenging read and a must for students of revolutionary Russia.
Erudite, stimulating, and important. . . . A book that deserves to be read from cover to cover and savored. Even those who disagree with its premises and conclusions will find more than ample reward.
Igal Halfin is senior lecturer in the department of history at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of Intimate Enemies: Demonizing the Bolshevik Opposition, 1918-1928; From Darkness to Light: Class, Consciousness, and Salvation in Revolutionary Russia; and Terror in My Soul: Communist Autobiographies on Trial. Halfin is also editor of Language and Revolution: The Making of Modern Political Identities.