Isaiah Berlin refused to write an autobiography, but he agreed to talk about himself - and so for 10 years, before's Berlin's death in November 1997, he allowed Michael Ignatieff to interview him about his past, his ideas, his most intimate memories, and his inner conflicts.
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Russian by birth, Jewish by descent, English by choice, Isaiah Berlin (1909-97) knit together three identities into a cosmopolitan sensibility that informed his contributions as one of the 20th century's most influential and important intellectuals. Based on his experiences as a child during the Russian Revolution and his friendships with such beleaguered writers as Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova, Berlin affirmed the superiority of individual freedom and judgment to Marxist totalitarianism. But he made fellow liberals uncomfortable with his unwelcome reminders that their ideals--liberty, equality, social justice--inevitably conflicted and required painful tradeoffs. London-based journalist Michael Ignatieff, who spent 10 years interviewing Berlin before his death, adeptly captures an appealing man: lighthearted, spontaneous, a brilliant conversationalist and lecturer (one of Oxford University's most popular professors), able to savor private happiness despite an essentially tragic view of political life. Ignatieff admires Berlin's views without accepting them uncritically; similarly, he acknowledges personal failings while appreciating the serenity Berlin achieved against considerable odds. This lucidly written, thoughtfully argued work is a model of the well-balanced biography, carefully evaluating the complex interplay of character and conviction in one remarkable individual. --Wendy SmithAbout the Author:
Michael Ignatieff is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He is the author of The Warrior's Honor (Metropolitan Books, 0-8050-5519-3), The Russian Album, The Needs of Strangers, and Scar Tissue, a novel short-listed for the Booker Prize. He lives in London.
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Descripción Chatto & Windus, 1998. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0701163259