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Letters 1975-1997

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


608 Pages, 6 x 9.25

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $35.95 (US $35.95)

Publication Date: May 2018

ISBN 9781845952259

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (May 2018)

Price: $35.95


The fourth and final volume of Isaiah Berlin's much admired letters

In this final volume, Isaiah Berlin enters a profoundly interesting last phase in his life. He dwells on pluralism of values and cultures, political liberalism, the defense of democracy, and the challenge posed by fundamentalism. But there is also gossip to close friends, reflections on music, the arts, and artists, as well as a Shakespearean fascination with the variety of humankind. He reacts, as always, to world events: the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians; the fall of Communism; the Falklands, Gulf, and Bosnian wars; and he observes the leading players on the world stage—Reagan, Thatcher, Begin, Sadat, Shamir, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Clinton, and Khomeini. Affirming is the crowning achievement both of Berlin's epistolary life and of the acclaimed edition of his letters that began publication 11 years ago.


"One of the great thinkers of the age. Anyone seeking to understand the 20th century should acquire this volume, and its three predecessors. They will be both stimulated and enlightened." —Vernon Bogdanor, Daily Telegraph, five stars

"This fourth and final volume of Berlin's letters, admirably edited by Henry Hardy and Mark Pottle, brings vividly back to life one of the most wise, witty and generous of men." —Philip Ziegler, Spectator

"The great magus of 20th-century liberalism." —Matthew d'Ancona, Guardian

"Berlin, at his best, reminding us that he was one of the great liberal thinkers of the postwar period." —David Herman, New Statesman

"Modest, polite and beautifully written, these letters can be viewed as open-ended conversations with kindred spirits. They are also an important attempt to document the history of the late 20th century." —Prospect

Author Biography

Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997) was a noted political philosopher 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.