Leszek Kolakowski

Poland, 1927 - 2009

Leszek Kolakowski was a philosopher and historian of ideas. He began his career under Marxist rule, but became critical of Marxism after a visit to Stalinist Moscow and lost his position at the University of Warsaw. He went into exile, worked as professor of philosophy at the universities of Yale, McGill, Berkeley and Oxford, and wrote the classic work Main Currents of Marxism (1976-1978). Other works are Modernity on Endless Trial (1990), God Owes Us Nothing (1995), Freedom, Fame, Lying, and Betrayal: Essays on Everyday Life (1999), The Two Eyes of Spinoza and Other Essays on Philosophers (2004) and My Correct Views on Everything (2005). A selection of Kolakowski’s essays can be read in Is God Happy? (2013).