Isaiah Berlin

Berlin, Sir Isaiah

Sir Isaiah Berlin, 1909–97, English political scientist, b. Riga, Latvia (then in Russia). His family moved to St. Petersburg when he was a boy and emigrated to London in 1921. He was educated at Oxford, where he became a fellow (1932), a professor of social and political theory (1957–67), and president of Wolfson College (1966–75). In The Hedgehog and the Fox (1953), Berlin explored Leo Tolstoy's view of irresistible historical forces, and in Historical Inevitability (1954) he attacked both determinist and relativist approaches to history as superficial and fallacious. His other works include Karl Marx (3d ed. 1963), Four Essays on Liberty (1969), Personal Impressions (1980), and the essay collection The Proper Study of Mankind (1997). He was knighted in 1957.

See his Letters, 1928–1946 (2004, ed. by H. Hardy); biographies by J. Gray (1996) and M. Ignatieff (1998).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Isaiah Berlin: Selected full-text books and articles

Two Concepts of Liberty
Isaiah Berlin.
Clarendon Press, 1958
Christianity, Tolerance, and Pluralism: A Theological Engagement with Isaiah Berlin's Social Theory
Michael Jinkins.
Routledge, 2004
Sociological Insights of Great Thinkers: Sociology through Literature, Philosophy, and Science
Christofer Edling; Jens Rydgren.
Praeger, 2011
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 27 "Isaiah Berlin: On the Sociology of Freedom"
The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World
James F. Hoge Jr.; Fareed Zakaria.
Basic Books, 1997
A Zone of Engagement
Perry Anderson.
Verso, 1992
A Philosopher's Story
Morton Gabriel White.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Includes Ch. 17 "Isaiah Berlin: A Bridge Between Philosophy and the History of Ideas"
Passion and Paradox: Intellectuals Confront the National Question
Joan Cocks.
Princeton University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "On the Jewish Question: Isaiah Berlin and Hannah Arendt" and Chap. 4 "Are Liberalism and Nationalism Compatible? A Second Look at Isaiah Berlin"
The Middle East in Transition: Studies in Contemporary History
Walter Z. Laqueur.
Praeger, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "The Origins of Israel" by Isaiah Berlin begins on p. 204
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