I am shocked that I had not discovered Nikolai Berdyaev until recently. This book is fabulous. This writer speaks my language. Berdyaev is Russian, of course, writing about his beloved homeland and the fate of Europe in the smoldering aftermath of World War I. He also watched with dismay the emergence of Soviet power through the Bolsheviks. These were dark times. He believed that huge civilizational shifts had taken place. Cherished truths about human society were shattered, truths about human goodness were called into question. But Berdyaev offers a vision of hope. He believed renewal is possible, but only if we recognize the roots of the problem–they are spiritual in nature, cultural. He makes the case that both personal and societal renewal were possible by working from the inside out, from the spiritual center outward, not the other way around. We must reclaim spiritual “realities and values.” The moment our civilization denied these things, the individual became “crippled, withered, good for nothing. Henceforth the motions of the human individual will are aimless, directed towards nothing.” The individual had “been led to this emptiness by a deceptive humanism which has made a wilderness of the human soul.” Strong words, describing trends we live with to this day.