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The Sense of Reality: Studies in Ideas and Their History
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374525692, Paperback)The publication of a new book by Sir Isaiah Berlin is always a welcome thing, and The Sense of Reality is no exception. In this volume the eminent scholar gathers nine long essays, eight previously unpublished, on the ideas that have governed European history for the last three centuries: nationalism, liberalism, and especially Marxism. Always seeking to draw moral lessons, Berlin wonders aloud why it is that humans admire men stirred by the lust for power or jealousy of others, or monomaniacal vanity--including notable figures of history like Peter the Great and Napoleon. He proposes a few answers in this study of ideas brought to power, and those answers are always illuminating.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:17 -0400)
Isaiah Berlin's The Sense of Reality at last makes available an important body of previously unknown work by one of our 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, judgment 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 re-create a bygone epoch, is a superb centerpiece.
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