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Preserving art, freedom, and human dignity in the age of the totalitarian state was one of the great challenges of the twentieth century. In Centaur, Slavic scholar Albert Leong chronicles the life and work of the greatest living Russian sculptor and philosopher of art. Based on extensive research in the formerly closed Soviet archives, exclusive interviews with Neizvestny, his family, and friends, Centaur tells the amazing story of a visionary artist and World War II commando officer who narrowly escaped death on the battlefield, successfully defied Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and the KGB to create acclaimed works of monumental art. Forced into exile to the West in 1976, Ernst Neizvestny returned in triumph to the Soviet Union in 1989 to design the first monuments in Russia to the countless victims of Stalinist political repression. Supplemented by 75 photographs, Centaur will engross specialists and general readers interested in biography, cultural history, art, architecture, politics, and Russian/Soviet studies.