Academic Questions

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 256–260 | Cite as

The Book of Isaiah: Personal Impressions of Isaiah Berlin, edited by Henry Hardy. Woodbridge, UK, and Rochester, NY: The Boydell Press, 2009, 336 pp., $47.95 hardbound.

Exploring Berlin
  • David L. Tubbs

For many years, academic critics of Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997) complained that he wrote little, but spoke much—that is, too much. In retrospect, this criticism is easy to explain. Besides being a scintillating interlocutor, Berlin was a “public intellectual.” Yet his renown as a university lecturer, political analyst, and media commentator did not stop detractors from pointing out his failure to produce a grand work of scholarship commensurate with his abilities. (Despite its merits, Berlin’s only book—a study of Karl Marx—was essentially written for non-specialists, and could not be considered anyone’s magnum opus.)

In the final decades of his life, however, Berlin’s reputation began to change. Largely through the efforts of editor Henry Hardy, scholars discovered that Berlin had written considerably more than previously believed. Hardy collected many of Berlin’s essays, some of which had been wallowing in obscurity, and reissued them in books. The result has been a rich harvest of...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The King’s CollegeNew YorkUSA

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