Sense of Reality Studies in Ideas and Their History

ISBN-10: 0374525692

ISBN-13: 9780374525699

Edition: 1999

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Description:

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year Isaiah Berlin's The Sense of Reality contains an important body of previously unknown work by one of our century's leading historians of ideas, and one of the finest essayists writing in English. Eight of the nine pieces included here are published for the first time, and their range is characteristically wide: the subjects explored include realism in history; judgement in politics; the history of socialism; the nature and impact of Marxism; the radical cultural revolution instigated by the Romantics; Russian notions of artistic commitment; and the origins and practice of nationalism. The title essay, starting from the impossibility of historians being able to recreate a bygone epoch, is a superb centerpiece.
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Book details

List price: $22.00
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 12/26/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Philosopher, political theorist, and essayist, Isaiah Berlin was born in 1909 to Russian-speaking Jewish parents in Latvia. Reared in Latvia and later in Russia, Berlin developed a strong Russian-Jewish identity, having witnessed both the Social-Democratic and the Bolshevik Revolutions. At the age of 12, Berlin moved with his family to England, where he attended prep school and then St. Paul's. In 1928, he went up as a scholar to Corpus Christi College in Oxford. After an unsuccessful attempt at the Manchester Guardian, Berlin was offered a position as lecturer in philosophy at New College. Almost immediately, he was elected to a fellowship at All Souls. During this time at All Souls, Berlin wrote his brilliant biographical study of Marx, titled Karl Marx: His Life and Environment (1939), for the Home University Library. Berlin continued to teach through early World War II, and was then sent to New York by the Ministry of Information, and subsequently to the Foreign Office in Washington, D.C. It was during these years that he drafted several fine works regarding the changing political mood of the United States, collected in Washington Despatches 1941-1945 (1981). By the end of the war, Berlin had shifted his focus from philosophy to the history of ideas, and in 1950 he returned to All Souls. In 1957, he was elected to the Chichele Chair of Social and Political Theory, delivering his influential and best-known inaugural lecture, Two Concepts of Liberty. Berlin died in Oxford on November 5, 1997.

Editor's preface
Introduction
The Sense of Reality
Political Judgement
Philosophy and Government Repression
Socialism and Socialist Theories
Marxism and the International in the Nineteenth Century
The Romantic Revolution: A Crisis in the History of Modern Thought
Artistic Commitment: A Russian Legacy
Kant as an Unfamiliar Source of Nationalism
Rabindranath Tagore and the Consciousness of Nationality
Index
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