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If you are not a Subscriber, Subscribe Now! Timothy Snyder is a Yale historian whose scholarly reputation rests on his wide-ranging histories of Central and Eastern Europe. Capitalizing on his credentials as a historian, over the past decade Snyder has positioned himself as a public intellectual, shifting from academic histories to more popular works, writing for magazines like The New Republic and The New York Review of Books, and appearing often on the national and international speaking circuits. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and a Russian-backed uprising in Ukraine’s eastern regions the same year, Snyder began to direct a considerable amount of his energy to the present, writing often about the events in Ukraine for The New Republic and The New York Review of Books.
This kind of argumentation occurs throughout The Road to Unfreedom. Scots themselves may have conceived the idea of splitting from Great Britain. But despite his many footnotes, he does not seem to follow this practice himself, even when presenting interpretations that are widely disputed by reputable scholars and journalists.
The Road to Unfreedom to the work of Russian philosopher and theorist Ivan Ilyin, whom he presents as the single most important influence on contemporary Russian policy. Born in 1883, Ilyin advocated at an early age for the rule of law in Russia and then for violent resistance to the Bolsheviks. Russian elite, ordered the transfer of his remains from Switzerland to Moscow and the repatriation of his papers from Michigan State University.
Putin has quoted Ilyin in several important speeches, as have Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and former deputy prime minister and Putin adviser Vladislav Surkov. The Road to Unfreedom, Snyder’s conspiratorial thinking undermines his own insistence on the importance of individual responsibility. Sophie Pinkham is the author of Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine. She is completing a dissertation at Columbia University on contemporary Russia’s search for a national idea.