Masaryk and the Russian Question against the Background of German and Czech Attitudes to Russia
Thomas G. Masaryk is generally considered to be the outstanding figure responsible for directing Czech political orientation towards the West and towards Anglo-American values in particular. In view of this fact, it may seem surprising that so far as quantity is concerned, the greater number of Masaryk’s writings — apart from his works on the historical and philosophical interpretation of the political existence of the Czech nation — is devoted to the Russian Question.1 Masaryk’s Russland and Europa (The Spirit of Russia), published in German shortly before World War I, has been considered by no less an authority than Jaroslav Bidlo to be the culmination of his academic life-work.2 The question arises, therefore, whether Masaryk, then in his sixties, was beginning to develop a new profile in the second decade of the twentieth century, and to gain an international reputation as one of the great specialists in Russian affairs. This paper seeks to shed some light upon this particular role of Masaryk’s — his relationship to the Russian Question against the background of German and Czech attitudes to Russia.
KeywordsSocial Critic Intellectual History International Reputation German Public Religious Philosophy
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