Leszek Kolakowski

Kołakowski, Leszek

Leszek Kołakowski (lĕsh´ĕk kô´wəkôf´skē), 1927–2009, Polish philosopher, b. Radom, Ph.D Univ. of Warsaw, 1953. A Marxist revisionist and a critic of the Eastern European Communism he once embraced, Kołakowski left Poland after his expulsion from the Polish Workers' party (1966) and his dismissal from his professorship at the Univ. of Warsaw (1968). He subsequently was a fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1970–95) and a professor at the Univ. of Chicago (1981–94). While in exile, he wrote extensively and astutely on the history of philosophy, Marxism, and religion, influencing the Polish opposition to Communist rule in the 1970s and 80s and the formation of the Solidarity union. His more than 30 books include Toward a Marxist Humanism (tr. 1968), Main Currents of Marxism (3 vol., 1976, tr. 1978, repr. 2005; his most influential work), Religion: If There is No God (1982, 2d ed. 1993, repr. 2001), and Modernity on Endless Trial (1990). In addition to scholarly texts, he also wrote fables, stories, and plays.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Freedom, Fame, Lying, and Betrayal: Essays on Everyday Life
Leszek KoŁakowski; Agnieszka Kołakowska.
Westview Press, 1999
The Soviet Union and the Challenge of the Future
Alexander Shromas; Morton A. Kaplan.
Paragon Press, vol.1, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Communism as a Cultural Phenomenon" by Leszek Kolakowski
Can Europe Happen?
Kolakowski, Leszek.
New Criterion, Vol. 21, No. 9, May 2003
Leaving Marxism: Studies in the Dissolution of An Ideology
Stanley Pierson.
Stanford University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Leszek Kolakowski"
In Search of a Political Philosophy: Ideologies at the Close of the Twentieth Century
W. J. Stankiewicz.
Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Kolakowski's View of Three Persuasions" begins on p. 7
The Cornel West Reader
Cornel West.
Basic Civitas Books, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 28 "On Leszek Kolakowski"
Leibniz & Job: The Metaphysics of Evil & the Experience of Evil
Kolakowski, Leszek.
New Criterion, Vol. 22, No. 5, January 2004
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