×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Building: Letters 1960-1975
     

Building: Letters 1960-1975

by Isaiah Berlin, Henry Hardy (Editor), Mark Pottle (Editor)
 

See All Formats & Editions

In the period covered here (1960–75) Isaiah Berlin creates Wolfson College, Oxford; John F. Kennedy becomes US President (and is assassinated); Berlin dines with JFK on the day he is told of the Soviet missile bases in Cuba; the Six-Day Arab–Israeli war of 1967 creates problems that are still with us today; Richard M. Nixon succeeds Johnson as US

Overview

In the period covered here (1960–75) Isaiah Berlin creates Wolfson College, Oxford; John F. Kennedy becomes US President (and is assassinated); Berlin dines with JFK on the day he is told of the Soviet missile bases in Cuba; the Six-Day Arab–Israeli war of 1967 creates problems that are still with us today; Richard M. Nixon succeeds Johnson as US President and resigns over Watergate; and the long agony of the Vietnam War grinds on in the background.

At the same time Berlin publishes some of his most important work, including Four Essays on Liberty – the key texts of his liberal pluralism – and the essays later included in Vico and Herder. He talks on the radio, appears on television and in documentary films and gives numerous lectures, especially his celebrated Mellon Lectures, later published as The Roots of Romanticism.

Behind these public events is a constant stream of gossip and commentary, acerbic humour and warm personal feeling. Berlin writes about an enormous range of topics to a sometimes dazzling cast of correspondents. This new volume leaves no doubt that Berlin is one of the very best letter-writers of the twentieth century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"IB was one of the great affirmers of our time, a man to be admired not only for his intellectual achievements but for his loyalty, his humor, his modesty, his delight in the world and the people in it. Building is a wonderful edifice in his honor, meticulously, indeed lovingly, edited and annotated." —John Banville, New York Review of Books

"Berlin was sui generis. There never was anyone like him before, and there probably will not be anyone like him again . . . He was, above all, a genuine — as opposed to a stage – liberal, who believed people were entitled to their beliefs and even to their prejudices, and both could be accommodated." —DJ Taylor, Independent on Sunday

"Consistently interesting and at times strikingly unexpected, these letters show sides of Berlin that have not been seen before." —John Gray, Literary Review

"Berlin's achievement was immense, in making ideas entertaining in a culture generally averse to them . . . One way to read [him] today is to relish the passionate man between the high-flown lines." —Lesley Chamberlain, Independent

"There are many wonderful sketches. Of, for example, President Kennedy . . . or Roy Jenkins . . . and there are damning judgments of many great and good . . . Dip in and savour a lost world . . . . For reasons of technology (email and text) and also of intellectual culture the letters of today's Berlins . . . will simply not exist for future historians." —David Goodhart, Sunday Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780701185763
Publisher:
Random House UK
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Pages:
864
Sales rank:
1,362,896
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

SIR ISAIAH BERLIN, O.M., was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1909. He came to England in 1919 and was educated at St Paul's School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. At Oxford, he was a Fellow of All Souls College (1932-8, 1950-67), a Fellow of New College (1938-50), Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory (1957-67), first President of Wolfson College (1966-75), and President of the British Academy from 1974 to 1978. His achievements as a historian and expositor of ideas earned him the Erasmus, Lippincott, and Agnelli Prizes, and his lifelong defence of civil liberties earned him the Jerusalem Prize. He died in 1997.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews