To those who knew Kropotkin, the man seemed often more important than his works, and throughout our account we have had to record the strong impressions of amiability and goodness left by him. He had many ideological enemies, but few men of celebrity in their own time have had so few personal foes; even those who were bitterly opposed to his teachings usually found his modesty and sincerity difficult to resist.
In general, he can be said to have embodied the best attributes of the Russian people, and he in turn believed in the Russian people because he recognised in the peasants those very qualities of warmth and generosity which he himself displayed. Thus it is not inappropriate that he should have gained a wider repute than any other Russian exile of his time, and have become regarded in the Western world as the representative of those Russians who resisted the Tsarist autocracy in the name of liberty and the well-being of the people.
His ideal of human solidarity was no vague conception, nor was his amiability a superficial virtue. They were continually manifested in his daily life, and, although he may at times have fallen into error, there is nothing in Kropotkin's acts or writings of intellectual dishonesty. He always spoke what he thought to be right, and was ready to take the consequences, whether it meant imprisonment or--what was much worse to a man of his character--the loss of old and respected friends. He was always kind, anxious to avoid giving pain or inconvenience, and conscious of the needs of others. His hospitality was wide, his sympathy abundant, his generosity as unlimited as his resources allowed. In the difficult roles of husband and father he seems to have been exceptional, for there are no records of those