Hobart alum Sandy Krolick ’75, a former visiting professor of philosophy, has written a new book titled “The Recovery of Ecstasy: Notebooks from Siberia,” a journey confronting the social, cultural and personal challenges we face in modern times. The book was penned by Krolick after a 22-year hiatus in his writing.
“We’re all raised in a society, in a culture, with a certain worldview, and that ‘view’ defines what we see and how we interact with people and things in the world,” explains Krolick. The problem, at least in part, is that we often have no idea we have this worldview. “You can’t see the way you see. The only way you can see your own eyes,” he says, “is to look into a mirror.” With a detour through his life in the central Siberian Steppe, the book is like a mirror designed to enable people to understand more clearly the way they see the world they inhabit.
Krolick explains that students (like others), who have been immersed in this worldview from birth, find themselves struggling with a cultural and social estrangement as their natural, primal instincts take a final stand against society. According to him, this is part of the larger cultural crisis in America, of which the college and university is a microcosm. With a view from Russia, “The Recovery of Ecstasy” addresses that cultural crisis and the feeling of estrangement felt by many of us as a result.
“As a firestorm critique of culture, the book should help us to recollect the primal passion of life and enjoy the present while remembering that the past and future are social conveniences, and that happiness can be recovered.”
Krolick graduated magna cum laude from Hobart College, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in History of Culture. He went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a doctorate from the University of Virginia. He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Denver-Daniels College of Business, and the Colorado School of Mines. As well, he has held executive positions at General Electric, Ernst &Young LLP, and Computer Sciences Corporation. He has spent many years abroad in parts of Asia, Asia Minor, Europe, Africa, Russia, and the central Siberian slope, where he taught in Barnaul, Russia at the base of the Ural-Altai mountains.