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Letters 1928–1946


816 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $36.95 (US $36.95)

Publication Date: May 2005

ISBN 9780712635653

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (May 2005)

Price: $36.95


The first volume of highly readable and entertaining letters from one of the most famous intellectual figures of the last century.

Isaiah Berlin is one of the towering intellectual figures of the 20th century and the focus of growing discussion among those interested in politics and philosophy alike. In this engaging compendium, the man behind the intellectual figure is finally revealed in a substantial collection of personal letters. This volume follows Berlin from the age of 18 when he is still a pupil through his college days at Oxford and his initial years of teaching. It follows his journey to U.S. at the outbreak of World War II and his eventual return to Britain in 1946. Vividly displayed here are the growing intellectual prowess and passion for life that would come to define Berlin’s future years.


"Enthralling . . . Berlin’s letters crackle with wit." —Guardian

"Anyone who knows Berlin’s writing through his slightly stodgy essays will find these vivid letters a revelation." —Independent

"Just at the moment when we needed it most, when the West was looking for liberal responses to totalitarianism . . . this beautifully edited, lavishly note-packed book tells us how it happened." —Daily Telegraph

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 is one of Isaiah Berlin’s Literary Trustrees and the editor of several other books by Berlin.