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The Proper Study of Mankind An Anthology of Essays

Oxford professor, philosopher, and historian of ideas, the late Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909-97) was also one of the finest English essayists in the 20th century. This retrospective collection of 17 of his best essays surveys his entire career as a thinker, including his work in political philosophy and the philosophy of history, his thoughts on the Enlightenment, Vico, and Machiavelli, and his passion for Russian literature. Reprinted are such seminal essays as "Two Concepts Liberty" and "The Hedgehog and the Fox," as well as his reflections on Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. Edited by scholars Hardy and Hausheer, who also provides an introduction, and with a foreword by Noel Annan, this book also includes a helpful bibliography. A fitting epitaph for a man passionately and eloquently devoted to ideas. ~ Library Journal

Table of Contents

    • Note to the American edition
    • Foreword
    • Editorial preface
    • Introduction
    • The Pursuit of the Ideal    1
  • Philosophical Foundations
    • The Concept of Scientific History    17
    • Does Political Theory Still Exist?    59
  • Freedom and Determinism
    • ‘From Hope and Fear Set Free’    91
    • Historical Inevitability    119
  • Political Liberty and Pluralism
    • Two Concepts of Liberty    191
  • History of Ideas
    • The Counter-Enlightenment    243
    • The Originality of Machiavelli    269
    • The Divorce between the Sciences and the Humanities    326
    • Herder and the Enlightenment    359
  • Russian Writers
    • The Hedgehog and the Fox    436
    • Herzen and his Memoirs    499
    • Conversations with Akhmatova and Pasternak    525
    • Romanticism and Nationalism in the Modern Age
    • The Apotheosis of the Romantic Will    553
    • Nationalism: Past Neglect and Present Power    581
  • Twentieth-Century Figures
    • Winston Churchill in 1940    605
    • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt    628
    • Concise bibliography of Isaiah Berlin’s writings
    • Index