Jordan Penney is a writer based on the east coast, born in Canada and educated in England. He holds a PhD in History, and writes on history, music, pop culture, and public policy. He is a regular PopMatters contributor. Twitter: @jkp501.
As a history of ideas, this work is especially good at mapping the Vienna Circle's fascinating afterlife in the English-speaking countries where many prominent thinkers landed and flourished in the 20th century.
Vladimir Lenin's life, his short tenure in power, and the subsequent path taken by the Soviet Union will always be a rich if sombre source of speculation in the history of possibility. Sebestyen's humane biography brings additional clarity to the matter.
There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.
A thread runs through Pasolini's artistic and political work for which he used various terms to identify the sacred, the mythic, the soul, and the spirit -- all strategies for appreciating life in even the most difficult circumstances.