While writing this book, I discovered several writers for myself: these were illustrious philosophers, Fathers of the Church, religious reformers, and zealots. The importance of these travelling companions throughout my intellectual adventure obliged me to share what I thought of these respectable men and women. I attempted to see in each personality not an educational example from a school book or a dried out species of butterfly plucked from an entomologist’s cabinet, but rather individuals with passions, merits, and human faults. The result is my own little encyclopaedia where I describe these thinkers as I perceive them and give them as much attention as I see fit. So, after reading these commentaries, you will likely learn as much about me as you do about them.

Vitaly Malkin

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