Grisha Freidin on Leo Tolstoy

About Guest:

Gregory “Grisha” Freidin is professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Stanford University.

He received his PhD from UC-Berkeley in 1979, writing a dissertation on Osip Mandelstam. He has taught at Stanford since then, and has, in that time, distinguished himself as scholar, teacher, and administrator.

He has edited and translated many important volumes, including The Norton Critical Edition of Isaac Babel's Selected Writings, for which he also provided the introduction and an accompanying critical essay, and the recent The Enigma of Isaac Babel: Biography, History, Context.

He is the author of A Coat of Many Colors: Osip Mandelstam and His Mythologies of Self-Presentation, published by the University of California Press. He is also the author of A Jew on Horseback: Isaac Babel and His Worlds, forthcoming from Stanford University Press.

Over the years, he has contributed to many publications including The New Criterion, The New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, Times Literary Supplement, among others, providing important commentary on Russian culture, history, and politics.

He is also working on several forthcoming works, descriptions of which can be found at

Also, please visit his blog at