This book is a revelation to all those of us who saw the communist period in Russia as all about the repression of political freedom and independent thought. It shows that there were progressive thinkers who were more idealistic and willing to take action to model a different way of educating children.
Sukhomlinsky is brought to life by Alan Cockerill who has produced a very readable but thorough study of this neglected progressive educator from Russia. He writes about the importance of an education based on positive values including the idea of service to the community which takes up the more idealist side of communism rather than the Li
eninist/Stalinist interpretation and puts it into practice. There is a chapter on the Education of the Heart which to me really positions Sukomlinsky as a person of the spirit albeit on the humanist side of that dimension of human existence. There are so many practical ways in which Sukhomlinsky puts his ideals into practice that show that despite the welcome demise of the totalitarian regime of Russian Communism that there other social arrangements that can work apart from globalised capitalism.