Isaiah Berlin: A Life

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 15, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 356 pages
Isaiah Berlin was witness to a century. Born in Riga in the twilight of the Czarist empire, he lived long enough to see the Soviet state collapse. Biographer of Marx, scholar of the Romantic movement, and defer of the liberal idea of freedom against Soviet tyranny, Berlin was the presiding judge of intellectual life on both sides of the Atlantic. When he died in 1997, he was hailed as the most important liberal philosopher of his time. But Berlin's life was not only a life of the mind. From Albert Einstein to Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill to Anna Akhmatova, his circle of friends constitutes a veritable who's who of twentieth-century art, politics, and philosophy. In this definitive work, the result of a remarkable ten-year collaboration between biographer and subject, Michael Ignatieff charts the emergence of a unique temperament and a singular vision.

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A polished life of the century's preeminent liberal (in the classic sense) philosopher. Just as Berlin's critics complained he never wrote a single-volume magnum opus but only essays, Berlin's friends ... Read full review

Isaiah Berlin: a life

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Ignatieff (The Warrior's Honor, LJ 1/98) met and conferred with Berlin periodically over a ten-year period until Berlin's death at the age of 88 in 1997. He also spent hours talking to Berlin's wife ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

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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