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Leszek Kolakowski

Born: 23-Oct-1927
Birthplace: Radom, Poland
Died: 17-Jul-2009
Location of death: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Philosopher

Nationality: Poland
Executive summary: Polish refugee philosopher

Leszek Kolakowski wrote a pamphlet criticizing the Polish Communist Party in 1959, which was censored in his native land but widely circulated in the West. Expelled from the Communist Party in 1966 and fired from his academic post at Warsaw University, he has lived the rest of his life in exile. In addition to his critiques of Marxism, he has written extensively on eighteenth century liberalism, and the philosophies of culture and religion. In 2003 he was the first recipient of the John W. Kluge Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Human Sciences, a $1-million honorarium from the US Library of Congress.

Father: Jerzy Kołakowski (publicist)
Mother: Lucyna Pietrusiewicz Kołakowski
Wife: Tamara Dynenson Kołakowski (psychiatrist, until his death, one daughter)
Daughter: Agnieszka

    University: BS, University of Lodz (1949)
    University: PhD, Warsaw University (1953)
    Professor: Warsaw University (1959-66)
    Professor: McGill University (1968-69)
    Professor: University of California at Berkeley (1969-72)
    Professor: Oxford University (1972-)

    Committee for the Free World Board of Directors
    Communist Party expelled
    Erasmus Prize 1983
    Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels 1977
    Kluge Prize 2003

Author of books:
Szkice o Filozofii Katolickiej (Sketches on Catholic Philosophy) (1955)
Klucz Niebieski Albo Opowiesci Budujace z Historii Swietej Zebrane ku Pouczeniu i Przestrodze (The Key to Heaven, Or Moral Tales from Sacred History Chosen for Instruction and Warning) (1964)
Swiatopoglad i Zycie Codzienne (Ideology and Everyday Life) (1957)
Notatki o Wspolczesnej Kontrreformacji (Notes on the Contemporary Counter-Reformation) (1962)
13 Bajek z Krolestwa Lailonii dla Duzych i Malych (Thirteen Tales from the Kingdom of Lailonia for Readers Large and Small) (1963)
Rozmowy z Diablem (Conversations with the Devil) (1965)
Kultura i fetysze Zbior Rozpraw (Culture and Fetish) (1967)
Obecnosc Mitu (The Presence of Myth) (1972)
Glowne Nurty Marksizmu (Main Trends in Marxism) (1976)
Moje Sluszne Poglady na Wszystko (My Correct Views on Everything) (1978)
Tezy o Nadziei i Beznadzejnosc (Theses on Hope and Hopelessness) (1981)
Trzy Bajki o Identycznosci (Three Tales on Identity) (1986)
Czy Diabel Moze byc Zbawiony i 27 Innych Kazan (Can the Devil Be Saved and 27 other Sermons) (1982)
Religion. If There Is No God (1982, essays)
Bajki rozne: Opowiesci biblijne, Rozmowy z diablem (Diverse Tales: Bible Stories, Conversations with the Devil) (1987)
Horror metaphisicum (Metaphysical Horror) (1988)
Pochwala niekonsekwencji: Pisma rozproszone z lat 1955-1968 (In Praise of Inconsistency: Uncollected Writings, 1955-1968) (1989)
Cywilizacja na lawie oskarzonych (Civilization in the Dock) (1990)


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