Building
Building

Building

Letters 1960-1975

By Isaiah Berlin, Edited by Henry Hardy, Edited by Mark Pottle

LITERARY COLLECTIONS

704 Pages, 6 x 9.25

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $37.95 (US $37.95)

Publication Date: October 2016

ISBN 9781845952303

Rights: US

Random House UK (Oct 2016)
Pimlico

Price: $37.95
 
 

Overview

The third volume of Isaiah Berlin's remarkable letters takes readers from 1960 to 1975

In the period covered here Isaiah Berlin creates Wolfson College, Oxford; John F. Kennedy becomes U.S. President (and is assassinated); Berlin dines with JFK on the day he is told of the Soviet missile bases in Cuba; the Six-Day Arab-Israeli war of 1967 creates problems that remain with us today; Richard M. Nixon succeeds Johnson as President and resigns over Watergate; and the long agony of the Vietnam War grinds on in the background. At the same time Berlin publishes some of his most important work, including Four Essays on Liberty—the key texts of his liberal pluralism—and the essays later included in Vico and Herder. He appears on the radio, on television, and in documentary films, and gives numerous lectures, especially his celebrated Mellon Lectures, later published as The Roots of Romanticism. Behind these public events is a constant stream of gossip and commentary, acerbic humor, and warm personal feeling. This new volume leaves no doubt that Berlin is one of the very best letter-writers of the 20th century.

Reviews

"IB was one of the great affirmers of our time, a man to be admired not only for his intellectual achievements but for his loyalty, his humor, his modesty, his delight in the world and the people in it. Building is a wonderful edifice in his honor, meticulously, indeed lovingly, edited and annotated." —John Banville, New York Review of Books

"Berlin was sui generis. There never was anyone like him before, and there probably will not be anyone like him again . . . He was, above all, a genuine -- as opposed to a stage – liberal, who believed people were entitled to their beliefs and even to their prejudices, and both could be accommodated." —DJ Taylor, Independent on Sunday

"Consistently interesting and at times strikingly unexpected, these letters show sides of Berlin that have not been seen before." —John Gray, Literary Review

"Berlin's achievement was immense, in making ideas entertaining in a culture generally averse to them . . . One way to read [him] today is to relish the passionate man between the high-flown lines." —Lesley Chamberlain, Independent

"There are many wonderful sketches. Of, for example, President Kennedy . . . or Roy Jenkins . . . and there are damning judgments of many great and good . . . Dip in and savour a lost world . . . . For reasons of technology (email and text) and also of intellectual culture the letters of today's Berlins . . . will simply not exist for future historians." —David Goodhart, Sunday Times

Author Biography

Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997) was a noted political philosopher and is widely regarded as one of the leading liberal thinkers of the 20th century. He was awarded the Erasmus, Lippincott, and Agnelli prizes for his contributions to philosophy. Henry Hardy has edited more than 15 volumes of Berlin's letters and writings. Mark Pottle is an Oxford historian