Larry Wolff

(born 1957) is professor of history at Boston College. He is the author of Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 1994). His most recent books are Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 2001) and The Enlightenment and the Orthodox World: Western Perspectives on the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe (Athens: Institute for Neohellenic Research, 2001).


Larry Wolff from the US and Alexander Yanov from Russia discuss in this exchange of letters Russia’s relation to Europe. With regard to its historical legacy, they reflect where Russia bases its political and cultural home. Is Russia maybe marked by a “civilisational instability” and “inability for political modernisation” that fundamentally set it apart from Europe? And if Russia belongs to Europe, as Wolff and Yanov argue, what defines “Europeanism” in the first place?

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