Vitaly Malkin (born 1952) is a Russian businessman and investor. He has been a physicist, banker and senator (from 2004 to 2013).
Malkin became interested in philosophy and history of religion while engaged in his philanthropic activities for the Fondation Era and Fondation Espoir, and from his extensive travels around the world. Living now in Europe, Malkin has fully dedicated himself to writing and to continuing his work as a philanthropist.
Which words define you the best?
I’m a soldier of atheism and for me it’s a fundamental battle. I’m also rational, curious and…epicurean.
You have a successful career and a fulfilling social and family life, so what made you turn to writing ?
As a scientist, I was bugged by the main question that the book asks, namely why humans continue to have faith even though it makes them unhappy. It’s a really relevant question these days when you look at the increase in intolerance and religious conflicts going on. I’m therefore particularly worried for our kids who are the particular targets of monotheistic religions. I’m ready to ‘go to war’ with chimeras and I’ve got plenty of energy for the cause.
In what way have your Russian origins influenced your essay ?
I identify as a Russian and citizen of the world. Raised on Russian culture as much as I was an avid reader of Proust, Marquez, Nietzsche and Montaigne, I’m a form of cultural hybrid. I feel similar to Nabokov who declared “My head speaks English, my heart Russian, and my ear French”.
Who is your book for ?
Anyone who is torn between reason and faith, between living in the here and now and hoping for life after death.