The history of ideas has played a central role in Russia's political and social history. Understanding its intellectual tradition and the way the intelligentsia have shaped the nation is crucial to understanding the Russia of today. This new history examines important intellectual and cultural currents (the Enlightenment, nationalism, nihilism, and religious revival) and key themes (conceptions of the West and East, the common people, and attitudes to capitalism and natural science) in Russian intellectual history. Concentrating on the Golden Age of Russian thought in the mid nineteenth century, the contributors also look back to its eighteenth-century origins in the flowering of culture following the reign of Peter the Great, and forward to the continuing vitality of Russia's classical intellectual tradition in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras. With brief biographical details of over fifty key thinkers and an extensive bibliography, this book provides a fresh, comprehensive overview of Russian intellectual history.