The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah Berlin

The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah Berlin

by George Crowder
     
 

Isaiah Berlin is widely acknowledged as a major figure in twentieth-century political philosophy and the history of ideas. His famous Oxford inaugural lecture, Two Concepts of Liberty, especially the last, crucial, section, entitled "The One and the Many," has provoked a vast secondary literature. So it is surprising that until now there has been no substantial

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Overview

Isaiah Berlin is widely acknowledged as a major figure in twentieth-century political philosophy and the history of ideas. His famous Oxford inaugural lecture, Two Concepts of Liberty, especially the last, crucial, section, entitled "The One and the Many," has provoked a vast secondary literature. So it is surprising that until now there has been no substantial critical reader dedicated to his work.

Editors George Crowder and Henry Hardy have admirably filled this need with this stimulating new volume, which provides a systematic and comprehensive treatment of the main aspects of Berlin’s work. The essays (all but two of which are newly commissioned) critically examine Berlin’s work across its whole range, including his treatment of Marx, Russian thinkers, Jewish themes, liberty, pluralism, the Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, nationalism, history, and religion.

The contributors are: Jonathan Allen (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign); Shlomo Avineri (Hebrew University, Jerusalem); Terrell Carver (University of Bristol); Joshua L. Cherniss (Harvard and Oxford Universities); George Crowder (Flinders University); William A. Galston (University of Maryland); Graeme Garrard (Cardiff University); Ryan Hanley (Marquette University); Henry Hardy (Oxford University); Michael Jinkins (Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary); David Miller (Oxford University); Mario Ricciardi (University of Milan); and Andrzej Walicki (University of Notre Dame).

Complete with a valuable bibliography, this outstanding collection of recent scholarship on a seminal thinker shows the continuing relevance and importance of Berlin’s many contributions to the understanding of our contemporary predicament.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The One and the Many is a superb introduction to Isaiah Berlin - his work, his intellectual roots, and his highly distinctive brand of liberalism. The newly commissioned essays collected in the book demonstrate the continuing power of Berlin's thought in addressing central questions in political theory, intellectual history, and the humanities. I have learnt much from the book, and recommend it strongly to anyone who believes that ideas matter."
JOHN GRAY, Professor of European Thought
London School of Economics, Author of Isaiah Berlin

"[A] fitting tribute to Berlin. It is a multidimensional exploration of the man and the ideas: his Judaism, his moderate nationalism, his ambivalence about the Enlightenment, his reaction to Stalinism, and a great deal more. It is a rich, original, and nourishing volume."

ALAN RYAN, Warden of New College, Oxford

"Berlin's ideas bear importantly on how we are to interpret our past and on how to face live contemporary issues. This fine collection sheds fresh light in both directions, with excellent new essays on his views of Marx, the Russian intelligentsia, the Enlightenment and its critics and Zionism, on his approach to contemporary nationalism, and on the political implications of his distinctive views of liberty and value-pluralism."

STEVEN LUKES, Professor of Sociology, New York University
Author of Power: A Radical View and Liberals and Cannibals: The Implications of Diversity
"This is an important addition to the growing literature on Berlin. The essays will add something to our appreciation of Berlin's strengths and weaknesses as an important political thinker of the twentieth century. The collection is free of jargon and accessible to the general reader and college student while also being useful to the specialist."

PERSPECTIVES ON POLITICAL SCIENCE

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591024484
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 9.33(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author

George Crowder (Adelaide, Australia), associate professor in the School of Political and International Studies at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, is the author of Classical Anarchism, Liberalism and Value Pluralism and Isaiah Berlin: Liberty and Pluralism.
Henry Hardy (Oxford, England), a Fellow of Wolfson College (Oxford, England), Isaiah Berlin’s editor, and one of his literary trustees, has edited or co-edited 17 books by Isaiah Berlin, most recently Political Ideas in the Romantic Age, Flourishing: Letters 1928–1946, and The Soviet Mind: Russian Culture under Communism. He is currently working with Jennifer Holmes on an edition of Berlin's letters.

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