Against The Current: Essays in the History of Ideas

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Random House, Jun 30, 2012 - History - 464 pages
4 Reviews

Berlin's main theme in these essays is the importance in the history of ideas of dissenters whose thinking still challenges conventional wisdom - among them Machiavelli, Vico, Montesquieu, Herzen and Sorel. With his unusual powers of imaginative re-creation, he brings to life original minds that swam against the current of their times, and in the process offers a powerful defence of variety in our visions of life.

Roger Hausheer's introduction surveys Berlin's whole oeuvre, and the full bibliography of his pubication has been updated for this Pimlico edition.

  

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Review: Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas

User Review  - Sh - Goodreads

Outstanding representative of Berlin's ideas and thoughts. Collection of the essays touch, albeit on somewhat lighter level, nearly all major intellectual contributions of Isaiah Berlin as a historian ... Read full review

Review: Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas

User Review  - Lauren Albert - Goodreads

Mostly excellent though there is some repetitiveness in the first half (even some self-plagiarism). Of note, I thought, was his essay on the ironic (to us) way Hume was used by German anti ... Read full review

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Contents

About the Author
Editors Preface
Introduction
The CounterEnlightenment
The Originality of Machiavelli
The Divorce between the Sciences and the Humanities
Vicos Concept of Knowledge
Vico and the Ideal of the Enlightenment
Herzen and his Memoirs
The Life and Opinions of Moses Hess
Benjamin Disraeli Karl Marx and the Search for Identity
The Naïveté of Verdi
Georges Sorel
Nationalism
Authors Note
A Bibliography of Isaiah Berlin

Montesquieu
Hume and the Sources of German AntiRationalism

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About the author (2012)

Sir Isaiah Berlin, O.M., was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1909. He came to England in 1919 and was educated at St Paul's School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. At Oxford, he was a a Fellow of All Souls College (1932-8, 1950-67), a Fellow of New College (1938-50), Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory (1957-67), first President of Wolfson College (1966-75), and President of the British Academy from 1974 to 1978. His achievements as a historian and expositor of ideas earned him the Erasmus, Lippincott, and Agnelli Prizes, and his lifelong defence of civil liberties earned him the Jerusalem Prize. He died in 1997.

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