The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas

Isaiah Berlin, Author, Henry Hardy, Jr., Editor Alfred A. Knopf $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-40131-5
A great adventurer in the history of ideas, eminent Russian-born Oxford historian Berlin ferrets out the roots of the prejudice, intolerance, fanaticism and lust for domination that blight the modern world. He is leery of disruptive nationalisms that presume a nation's unique mission and intrinsic superiority--and that often foster racial and ethnic hatreds. He persuasively interprets 18th-century French reactionary thinker Joseph de Maistre as a harbinger of fascism. The Romantic movement's dismissal of the very notion of objective truth, its glorification of defiance and martyrdom, are, to Berlin, a disturbing legacy. While nodding to cultural pluralism, he insists that ``we inhabit one common moral world.'' In tracing the pedigree of such novel ideals as tolerance, liberty and social equality from the Enlightenment onward, these erudite, engaging essays throw our century of massive violence into sharp perspective. History Book Club selection. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-0-7126-0616-5
Paperback - 278 pages - 978-0-679-73576-2
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-691-05838-2
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4008-4781-5
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4464-9696-1
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-691-15593-7
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