This study offers a fresh reappraisal of the philosopher, political thinker, and historian of ideas Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) from childhood to the height of his intellectual career. It provides the first historically contextualized study of Berlin's formative years and identifies different stages in his intellectual development, allowing a reappraisal of his theory of liberalism. Applying a 'double perspective' that examines Berlin both as an East European Jewish émigré as well as a British Liberal intellectual, author Arie Dubnov stresses the very ambivalent relation between Berlin's liberal philosophy and his pro-Zionist sentiments.
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This was also the time when Berlin first made the acquaintance of Chaim Weizmann and became a Zionist, and the author compares what he calls Berlin's postwar “diaspora Zionism” with his becoming a political thinker of freedom.Mar 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Isaiah Berlin