The Cossacks is one of the finest depictions of Cossack society in Russian literature. Against that primitive background, Tolstoy examines two psychological problems. The first is that of a young man who wants to love and wants to fit into society. The other is that of the difficulty of a primitive society in accepting the domination of a higher culture. This is a brilliant exploration of the themes of individuality and social identity.More
Juxtaposing simple life with urban sophistication, The Cossacks is Tolstoy's thoughtful depiction of Cossack society in the 19th century. Originally written by Tolstoy to pay off a gambling debt, this 1982 recording by audiobook performer Walter Zimmerman convincingly captures Russian nobleman Dmitri Olenin's naïve striving to understand life among simpler folk. Though the recording shows its age, Zimmerman's spirited delivery more than compensates for the thin audio. Stirring and thought-provoking, The Cossacks remains a compelling study of individuality and cultural identity.
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