The Crooked Timber Of Humanity

Front Cover
Random House, Jun 30, 2012 - Literary Collections - 288 pages
12 Reviews
Isaiah Berlin is regarded by many as one of the greatest historians of ideas of his time. In The Crooked Timber of Humanity, he argues passionately, eloquently, and subtly, that what he calls 'the Great Goods' of human aspiration - liberty, justice, equality - do not cohere and never can. Pluralism and variety of thought are not avoidable compromises, but the glory of civilisation. In an age of increasing ideological fundamentalism and intolerance we need to listen to Isaiah Berlin more carefully than ever before.

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Review: The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas

User Review  - Khalil James - Goodreads

It seems to me that what this collection of essays is saying - and what makes up Isaiah's philosophical legacy - is that cultures attribute different degrees of importance to each of a set of ... Read full review

Review: The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas

User Review  - Greg - Goodreads

I'm currently reading Alan Ryan's _On Politics_, a new survey of political theory from the Greeks to the present. In the introduction, Ryan states that Isaiah Berlin's essays provide one model or ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Isaiah Berlin was born in Riga, now capital of Latvia, in 1909. When he was six, his family moved to Russia, and in Petrograd in 1917 Berlin witnessed both Revolutions - Social Democratic and Bolshevik. In 1921 he and his parents emigrated to England, where he was educated at St Paul's School, London, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Apart from his war service in New York, Washington, Moscow and Leningrad, he remained at Oxford thereafter - as a Fellow of All Souls, then of New College, as Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, and as founding President of Wolfson College. He also held the Presidency of the British Academy.

His published work includes Karl Marx, Russian Thinkers, Concepts and Categories, Against the Current, Personal Impressions, The Sense of Reality, The Proper Study of Mankind, The Roots of Romanticism, The Power of Ideas, Three Critics of the Enlightenment, Freedom and Its Betrayal, Liberty, The Soviet Mind and Political Ideas in the Romantic Age. As an exponent of the history of ideas he was awarded the Erasmus, Lippincott and Agnelli Prizes; he also received the Jerusalem Prize for his lifelong defence of civil liberties. He died in 1997.

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