About the Author
Leszek Kolakowski, born in Poland in 1927, was professor of philosophy at the University of Warsaw from 1950 to 1968. During that period, he emerged as one of the leading internal critics of the Communist regime in Poland and was denounced by Communist Party chief Wladyslaw Gomulka. Following the student unrest of 1968, he was expelled from the university and left Poland for the West. Professor Kolakowski currently divides his academic year between Oxford University, where he is a senior research fellow at All Souls College, and the University of Chicago, where he is a member of the Committee on Social Thought. He has written more than 30 books, including the renowned three-volume study Main Currents of Marxism (1978). The recipient of numerous awards, he was chosen in 1986 to deliver the 15th annual Thomas Jefferson Lecture by the National Endowment for the Humanities of the United States.