Overview

In this collection of remarkable biographical portraits, the great essayist and intellectual historian Isaiah Berlin brings to life a wide range of prominent twentieth-century thinkers, politicians, and writers. These include Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Boris Pasternak, and Anna Akhmatova. With the exception of Roosevelt, Berlin met them all, and he knew many of them well. Other figures recalled here include the Zionist Yitzhak Sadeh, ...

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Personal Impressions: Third Edition

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Overview

In this collection of remarkable biographical portraits, the great essayist and intellectual historian Isaiah Berlin brings to life a wide range of prominent twentieth-century thinkers, politicians, and writers. These include Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Boris Pasternak, and Anna Akhmatova. With the exception of Roosevelt, Berlin met them all, and he knew many of them well. Other figures recalled here include the Zionist Yitzhak Sadeh, the U.S. Supreme Court judge Felix Frankfurter, the classicist and wit Maurice Bowra, the philosopher J. L. Austin, and the literary critic Edmund Wilson. For this edition, ten new pieces have been added, including portraits of David Ben-Gurion, Maynard and Lydia Keynes, and Stephen Spender, as well as Berlin’s autobiographical reflections on Jewish Oxford and his Oxford undergraduate years. Rich and enlightening, Personal Impressions is a vibrant demonstration of Berlin’s belief that ideas truly live only through people.

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Editorial Reviews

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 frank delight in human contradiction."--V. S. Pritchett, New York Review of Books

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

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

"A thrilling and agreeable work?. [W]armly recommended."--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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400851683
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Foreword
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 854,877
  • File size: 7 MB

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 xi
Foreword by Hermione Lee xv
Author's Preface to the First Edition xxxi
Editor's Preface xxxv
Winston Churchill in 1940 1
Hubert Henderson at All Souls 30
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 37
Richard Pares 50
Chaim Weizmann 57
Felix Frankfurter at Oxford 97
Aldous Huxley 108
L. B. Namier 121
Maurice Bowra 148
J. L. Austin and the Early Beginnings of Oxford Philosophy 156
John Petrov Plamenatz 177
Auberon Herbert 187
Einstein and Israel 195
Where Was I? 211
Maynard and Lydia Keynes 218
Nahum Goldmann 225
Memories of Brief Meetings with Ben-Gurion 235
Martin Cooper 243
Yitzhak Sadeh 252
Adam von Trott 269
David Cecil 273
Edmund Wilson at Oxford 283
Memories of Virginia Woolf 298
Alexander and Salome Halpern 304
Jewish Oxford 323
Herbert Hart 330
Corpuscle 337
Stephen Spender 347
Meetings with Russian Writers in 1945 and 1956 356
Epilogue: The Three Strands in My Life 433
Afterword by Noel Annan 441
Index 465

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