Jan Waclaw Machajski's (1866-1926) political doctrine, known as Makhaevism, was a synthesis of several revolutionary theories in Western and Eastern Europe: Marxism, anarchism, and syndicalism. His criticism of the intelligentsia and theory of a “new class” were influential to Communism and helped to create a hostility that culminated in Stalin's Great Purge of the 1930s.
Marshall Shatz offers a penetrating and fair-minded portrait of this paradoxical gadfly of the left, who took to the extreme an undercurrent of anti-intellectualism among uneducated Russians that may not be extinct even today. It is a sentiment which advocates of human rights have to reckon with.
This clearly written book will serve as excellent reading material for courses in European and Russian history.