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Liberty is a revised and expanded edition of the book that Isaiah Berlin regarded as his most important Four Essays on Liberty, a standard text of liberalism, constantly in demand and constantly discussed since it was first published in 1969.Writing in Harper's, Irving Howe described it as "an exhilarating performancethis, one tells oneself, is what the life of the mind can be." Berlin's editor Henry Hardy has revised the text, incorporating a fifth essay that Berlin himself had wanted to include.
He has edited many books by Berlin, including those discussed in this interview.
The fourth and final volume of his edition of Berlin's letters, Affirming: Letters 1975-1997, co-edited with Mark Pottle, was published by Chatto & Windus in September 2015.
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Henry Hardy, the editor who helped publish many of them, chooses the best books by (and one about) Isaiah Berlin.
Henry Hardy is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and one of Isaiah Berlin’s Literary Trustees.
There are many ends, each deserving respect, and it is out of this very pluribus that we get freedom.
I read this book and a great fog -- made of equal parts youthful enthusiasm, hubris and naivete -- lifted.
This paradox and Berlin's fecund, restless mind -- which moved from one idea to another (often in the same sentence! If they think the book is obvious, you have raised them well. Whether by religious fundamentalism, by some reconstructed Marxism, or by an ideology whose outlines and ugliness we cannot even imagine today, it will be challenged.
) -- prevented him from establishing a grand intellectual edifice of his own. But just as there are hedgehogs and foxes, there are creators and there are curers. If they don't, Berlin will challenge their complacency. When that day comes, Berlin and his "Four Essays" will be needed again.