The author, a distinguished Russian historian at the London School of Economics, has revised and expanded a series of lectures that he recently delivered at Yale University. Juxtaposing the concepts of rationalism (i.e. the belief that all political decisions may be arrived at by the use of reason) and nationalism (i.e. the belief that political institutions evolve naturally out of the social and historical structure of the Russian nation). Mr. Shapiro reveals the tension that pervaded Russian political thought from Speransky to Lenin. The author shows up the ambiguity that characterized the thinking behind the Westerners and Slavophiles in which neither was able to escape the influence of its opposite. His essay examining the origin of this important intellectual division in Russian thought is particularly analytical while his later ones, especially concerning Lenin, are genuine exercises in intellectual history as it should be written. It will doubtlessly become required reading for any courses in Russian political, social or intellectual history.