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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

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Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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Liberty: Incorporating Four Essays on Liberty

Edited by: Henry Hardy

ISBN13: 9780199249893
ISBN: 019924989X
Previous Edition ISBN: 0192810340
Published: March 2002
Publisher: Clarendon Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £25.99

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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 performance - this, 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 also added further pieces that bear on the same topic, so that Berlin's principal statements on liberty are at last available together in one volume. Finally, in an extended preface and in appendices drawn from Berlin's unpublished writings he exhibits some of the biographical sources of Berlin's lifelong preoccupation with liberalism. These additions help us to grasp the nature of Berlin's 'inner citadel', as he called it - the core of personal conviction from which some of his most influential writing sprang.

  • An expanded edition of what Isaiah Berlin himself regarded as his most important book
  • Adds a fifth essay, From Hope and Fear set Free, which Berlin had hoped to include in the original edition.
  • Also included are three of Berlin's other writings on liberty - Liberty, The Birth of Greek Individualism, and Final Retrospect - and three autobiographical pieces - The Purpose Justifies the Ways, A Letter to George Kennan (previously unpublished), and Notes on Prejudice.
  • A critical bibliography by Ian Harris brings together the growing mass of literature on Berlin's work with brief critical commentary
  • An extended preface by the editor gives a fascinating insight into the struggle behind the creation of this highly influential work

The Editor's Tale
Five Essays on Liberty
Political Ideas in the Twentieth Century
Historical Inevitability
Two Concepts of Liberty
John Stuart Mill and the Ends of Life
From Hope and Fear Set Free
Other Writings on Liberty
The Birth of Greek Individualism
Final Retrospect
Autobiographical Appendices
The Purpose Justifies the Ways
A Letter to George Kennan
Notes on Prejudice
Berlin and his Critics by Ian Harris