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Personal Impressions

Overview

This remarkable collection contains Isaiah Berlin's appreciations of seventeen people of unusual distinction in the intellectual or political world—sometimes both. The names of many of them are familiar—Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, and others. With the exception of Roosevelt, he met them all and knew many of them well. For this expanded edition, four new portraits have been added—including those of Virginia Woolf and Edmund Wilson. This volume also contains a vivid ...
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Overview

This remarkable collection contains Isaiah Berlin's appreciations of seventeen people of unusual distinction in the intellectual or political world—sometimes both. The names of many of them are familiar—Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, and others. With the exception of Roosevelt, he met them all and knew many of them well. For this expanded edition, four new portraits have been added—including those of Virginia Woolf and Edmund Wilson. This volume also contains a vivid and moving account of Berlin's meetings in Russia with Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova in 1945 and 1956. Perhaps the most fascinating of these "personal impressions" is found in the epilogue, where Berlin describes the three strands in his own personality: Russian, English, and Jewish.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review - Peter Stansky
Welcoming and rewarding. . . . [Berlin] is at his most conversational. This splendid book bring[s] the past to life.
New York Times Book Review
Welcoming and rewarding. . . . [Berlin] is at his most conversational. This splendid book bring[s] the past to life.
— Peter Stansky
Donald R. Stanski
Only the title is bland. The contents of this fourth and final volume of Isaiah Berlin's ''Selected Writings'' bear the distinctive stamp of one of the great thinkers and writers of our age. The general reader, unfamiliar with his work, or put off by the formidable subject matter of the earlier volumes will find Personal Impressions altogether welcoming and rewarding.
New York Times
From the Publisher

"Welcoming and rewarding. . . . [Berlin] is at his most conversational. This splendid book bring[s] the past to life."--Peter Stansky, New York Times Book Review

"[Berlin's] writing has all the élan of conversation. [His] sense of humor . . . Preserves a frank delight in human contradiction."--V. S. Pritchett, New York Review of Books

"Contains many amusing and revealing anecdotes."--Dan Jacobson, Times Literary Supplement

"An amazingly enjoyable book."--Christopher Hitchens, New Statesman

"Marvellously good reading."--Alan Ryan, Sunday Times (London)

"A thrilling and agreeable work. . . . [W]armly commended."--Peter Jay, Washington Post Book World

"An enthralling collection. . . . It is hard to think of any other writer who is so penetrating, so amusing, and yet so entirely free of malice."--Anthony Storr, Spectator

"Marvellous. . . . It is one of Berlin's most endearing characteristics that he can admire so many utterly diverse people, that he can tell us about them all, and see the point of them."--Mary Warnock, Listener

"Provides an invigorating spectacle of the liberal mind at its most assured and unobstructed, glorying in the variety of human character and achievement."--Anthony Quinton, Encounter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691088587
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/12/2001
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author


Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) was one of the leading intellectual historians of the twentieth century and the founding president of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. His many books include "The Hedgehog and the Fox", "The Crooked Timber of Humanity", and" The Roots of Romanticism" (all Princeton).
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations viii
Author's preface to the first edition ix
Editor's preface xi
Introduction by Noel Annan xv
Winston Churchill in 1940 1
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 24
Chaim Weizmann 34
Einstein and Israel 66
Yitzhak Sadeh 78
L. B. Namier 91
Felix Frankfurter at Oxford 112
Richard Pares 120
Hubert Henderson at All Souls 125
J. L. Austin and the Early Beginnings of Oxford Philosophy 130
John Petrov Plamenatz 146
Maurice Bowra 154
David Cecil 160
Memories of Virginia Woolf 168
Edmund Wilson at Oxford 172
Auberon Herbert 183
Aldous Huxley I89
Meetings with Russian Writers in 1945 and 1956 198
Epilogue: The Three Strands in My Life 255
Index 261
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