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  The Roots of Romanticism
Isaiah Berlin
Edited by Henry Hardy
With a new foreword by John Gray

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"With The Roots of Romanticism . . . we get another instalment of scintillating, elusive, paradoxical thought. . . . [T]his is a welcome addition to Berlin's ever-growing oeuvre."--Ben Rogers, Financial Times

"This small volume provides the distilled essence of Berlin and it provides wonderful examples of his technique: vast sentences in which a succession of parallel phrases draws out the meaning, inch by inch, and ends with a perfect rendering of the original clause upon which the reader has been left dangling for half a page, believing himself hopelessly lost. The experience is like waiting for an organist to resolve a mighty but elusive chord."--Anthony Smith, The Observer

"This is a book that would be as salutary a read for prime ministers and presidents as for those who see themselves as cultural critics. Berlin's writing exemplifies the need for understanding and tolerance in the face of the plurality of human needs and aspirations, and the incompatibility of human ideals."--Peter Mudford, The Times Higher Education Supplement


"Isaiah Berlin's Mellon Lectures on romanticism, a movement that he believed to be 'the greatest single shift in the consciousness of the West to have occurred,' are as eloquent, sprightly, and profound as anything he ever produced. This edition is provided with fascinating addenda as well as exacting editing and full references; it presents Berlin's analysis of the contradictions, plurality, and irrationality of a vital conjunction in intellectual, political, and artistic history, and restores the voice of the magus at its most thought-provoking and beguiling."--Roy Foster, University of Oxford

"This book provides an excellent account of the topics that were to preoccupy Berlin throughout his life. . . . It is a history of ideas, wonderfully under control, always with the sense of how those ideas have impacted on other ideas and eventually on the contemporary period."--Tracy B. Strong, University of California, San Diego

"In a dark century, he showed what a life of the mind should be: skeptical, ironical, dispassionate and free."--Michael Ignatieff

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File created: 4/24/2017

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