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Letters 1960-1975

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


864 Pages, 6 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $59.95 (US $59.95)

Publication Date: October 2013

ISBN 9780701185763

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Oct 2013)
Chatto & Windus

Price: $59.95


The third volume of Isaiah Berlin's remarkable letters takes readers from 1960 to 1975In 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. Berlin writes about an enormous range of topics to a sometimes dazzling cast of correspondents. This new volume leaves no doubt that Berlin is one of the very best letter-writers of the 20th century.


"He was one of the greatest talkers—lecturer, broadcaster, raconteur—who has ever lived. . . . Superbly edited and annotated . . . these extraordinary letters, transcribed with great difficulty and care, by those attuned in every sense to their author and accustomed to his ways, replicate to an extraordinary degree that torrential conversation with its preternatural mix of gossip, philosophy, and politics."  —Washington Times on Enlightening

"Berlin's erudite, amusing, and gossipy letters stand as a monument to a lost age. This important thinker’s correspondence will appeal to anyone with an interest in philosophy, political history, or the cultural milieu of the early 20th century."  —Library Journal on Enlightening

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.