Alexander herzen claims attention in many capacities. He is not one of the major figures of world literature, but certainly a distinguished minor figure — one of the select company of diarists and memoir writers who continue to be read long after their own time. His autobiography and the abundant store of his surviving correspondence reveal him as a slightly incongruous and uncomfortable member of the generation of nineteenth-century romantics who worshipped at the shrine of George Sand. But his main title to fame must be as a publicist in the broad sense, a significant figure in the development both of Russian and of European political thought, a link between western Europe and the Russian revolution. Though he foreshadowed much that was to come, Herzen himself remained essentially a nineteenth-century intellectual. Born in Moscow in the year of Napoleon I’s invasion of Russia, he died in Paris in the year of Napoleon III’s downfall. The dividing-line in his life was the year 1847, when he left Russia with his family, never to return. The dividing-line in his thought, as in that 57of so many of his contemporaries, was the year of revolution, 1848.