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 In this volume the eminent scholar gathers nine long essays, eight previously unpublished, on the ideas that have governed European history for the last three centuries: nationalism, liberalism, and especially Marxism.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.
From Library Journal
Berlin was the leading historian of Western ideas in the post-World War II period until his recent death. His essays and interviews have now been published in several volumes. In this representative volume, Berlin traces the rise and fall of Fascist and Communist utopian thinking since the beginning of the 19th century. (LJ 5/1/97)
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