June 11, 2009

Isaiah Berlin’s voice

IsaiahBerlin While I would rather read Isaiah Berlin than listen to him, I must take note of the following MP3 lectures now hosted at Oxford:

Freedom and its Betrayal: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1952)

Berlin lectures on Rousseau’s The Social Contract and discusses Rousseau’s anti-intellectualism, idealism of Nature, the worryingly authoritarian implications of his philosophy. Originally broadcast by the BBC's Third Program in 1952

Alexander Herzen: His Opinions and Character (1955)

Lecture on Alexander Herzen, philosopher and founder of Russia’s first free press. He discusses Herzen’s passionate belief in individual liberty and his distaste for the new violent radicalism in Russia in his time.

A Fire at Sea (1957)

Isaiah Berlin introduces and reads his translation of Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev’s short story; 'A Fire at Sea' in which Turgenev recounts an embarrassing episode from his youth. Originally broadcast by the BBC’s Third Program in 1957.

From Communism to Zionism: Moses Hess (1957)

1957 Lucien Wolf Memorial Lecture.  Lecture on the Jewish philosopher Moses Hess, one of the founders of Zionism and a committed Socialist. Berlin also discusses Hess’s evolution as a philosopher, from International Socialism to Zionism.

Alan Ryan’s very personal impression of Isaiah Berlin

This talk by Alan Ryan was given at Wolfson College on May 28 2009 as part of the Lives and Works series of lectures.

Some other interesting links:

Quotations Berlin made of others

A good starting anthology of Berlin

Crooked Timber of Humanity by Berlin

Russian Thinkers by Berlin

Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award winning trilogy based on Berlin’s book

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