Books on Berlin

including plays and an opera, and listed in chronological order of publication

1Ryan, Alan (ed.), The Idea of Freedom: Essays in Honour of Isaiah Berlin (Oxford, 1979: Oxford University Press)

2Kocis, Robert, A Critical Appraisal of Sir Isaiah Berlin’s Political Philosophy (Lewiston, NY, etc., 1989: Edwin Mellen Press)

3Margalit, Avishai, and others, On the Thought of Isaiah Berlin: Papers Presented in Honour of Professor Sir Isaiah Berlin on the Occasion of his Eightieth Birthday (Jerusalem, 1990: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities); also published in Hebrew as Iyunim be-haguto shel Yeshayahu Berlin [Reflections on the Thought of Isaiah Berlin] (the translation from which into English, where relevant, is by Gabriel Piterberg)

4Margalit, Edna and Avishai (eds), Isaiah Berlin: A Celebration (London, 1991: Hogarth Press; Chicago, 1991 [paperback 2001]: University of Chicago Press)

5Galipeau, Claude J., Isaiah Berlin’s Liberalism (Oxford, 1994: Clarendon Press)

6Díaz-Urmeneta Muñoz, Juan Bosco, Individuo y racionalidad moderna: una lectura de Isaiah Berlin (Seville, 1994: University of Seville)

7Singh, Dinesh, Isaiah Berlin and the Idea of Freedom (New Delhi, 1994: Classical Publishing)

8§Gray, John, Isaiah Berlin (London, 1995: HarperCollins; Princeton, 1996: Princeton University Press); retitled Berlin for the paperback edition, published in the Modern Masters series (London, 1995: Fontana); reissued as Isaiah Berlin: An Interpretation of His Thought, with a new introduction by the author (Princeton, 2013: Princeton University Press)

9Corsi, Pietro (ed.), Isaiah Berlin: filosofo delle libertà ([Florence, 1995]: La Rivista dei Libri)

10Carter, Ian, and Ricciardi, Mario (eds), L’idea di libertà (Milan, 1996: Feltrinelli): contains Italian translations of MacCallum (1972), Gray (1989), Taylor in Ryan (1979, above), Steiner (1975), Miller (1983), Oppenheim (1985), Miller (1985), Cohen in Ryan (1989, above; but translated from the version in Miller (1991))

11Dalos, György, The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin (London, 1998: Murray; New York, 2000: Farrar, Straus and Giroux) [originally published in German as Der Gast der Zukunft: Anna Achmatowa und Sir Isaiah Berlin: Eine Liebesgeschichte, trans. (from the original Hungarian) Elsbeth Zylla (Hamburg, 1996: Europäische)]; trans. Russian (Moscow, 2010); extract trans. Polish

12Ignatieff, Michael, Isaiah Berlin: A Life (London, 1998: Chatto and Windus; New York, 1998: Metropolitan); trans. Japanese, Korean (with a new preface, July 2012), Portuguese, Polish (excerpt); a list of selected amendments to this first edition is here

2nd edition, revised and updated (London, 2023: Pushkin Press); corrections to this second edition are listed here

13Polanowska-Sygulska, Beata, Filozofia wolnosci Isaiaha Berlina [Isaiah Berlin’s philosophy of freedom] (Kraków, 1998: Wydawnictwo Znak)

14Badillo O’Farrell, Pablo, and Bocardo Crespo, Enrique (eds), Isaiah Berlin: la mirada despierta de la historia (Madrid, 1999: Tecnos): includes translations of three pieces by Berlin (items 240, 241a, 244 in the bibliography on this site)

15Binnie, Jean, ‘Night Visit’, radio play first broadcast 27 June 2000 by BBC Radio 4

16Espada, João Carlos, Plattner, Marc F., and Wolfson, Adam (eds), Pluralism without Relativism: Remembering Isaiah Berlin (Lanham, MD, 2001: Lexington Books)

17García Guitián, Elena, El pensamiento político de I. Berlin (Madrid, 2001: Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales)

18Hu, Chuansheng, Ziyou de huanxiang: Bolin sixiang yanjiu [Conceptions of Liberty: A Study of Berlin’s Thought] (Nanjing, 2001: Nanjing University Press): discusses the features of Berlin’s thought and his contribution in the context of the development of liberalism and the whole background of contemporary thought

19Lilla, Mark, Ronald Dworkin and Robert B. Silvers (eds), The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin (New York, 2001: New York Review of Books; London, 2001, Granta); trans. Chinese; contents

20Naiman, Anatoly, Ser (Moscow, 2001: Eksmo)

21Hu Chuansheng, Guannian de liliang: yu Bolin duihua [The Power of Ideas: Dialogue with Isaiah Berlin] (Sichuan, 2002, Sichuan People’s Publishing House): the book consists of two parts; in the first part IB’s thought is introduced, in the second the idea of enlightenment in China is discussed; IB never mentioned the problems of China and Chinese thought, but Hu tries to engage in a dialogue with him through his reading of IB’s philosophy

22Lassalle, José María (ed.), Isaiah Berlin: una reflexión liberal sobre el ‘otro’ (Madrid, 2002: Fundación para el Análisis y los Estudios Sociales)

23Moss, Nancy P., Anna: Love in the Cold War, play about Anna Akhmatova and IB, produced first in Honolulu in 2002, then in New York in 2011 (reviewed by Ekaterina Lalo in Review Fix), and in Honolulu again in 2012; shortened version, Anna: Love and Loss, performed by Dawn Davis, available online

24Mali, Joseph, and Wokler, Robert (eds), Isaiah Berlin’s Counter-Enlightenment [Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 93 No 3] (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2003)

25Marvin, Mel (music) and Jonathan Levi (libretto), The Guest from the Future, opera premiered by the Nine Circles Chamber Theatre at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, on 23 July 2004

26Coles, Norman, Human Nature and Human Values: Interpreting Isaiah Berlin (Bexhill on Sea, 2004: Egerton House)

27 §Crowder, George, Isaiah Berlin: Liberty and Pluralism (Cambridge, 2004: Polity [Key Contemporary Thinkers series])

George Crowder here performs the almost impossible feat of tidying up Isaiah Berlin’s somewhat scattered, imprecise and inconsistent accounts of his views without oversimplification or misrepresentation. He emulates the Berlinian virtue of sympathetic identification with his subject, but without forfeiting critical distance. This exceedingly fruitful approach yields far and away the best vade mecum to Berlin’s ideas yet written. But not only has Crowder given us a masterly exposition; he also brilliantly develops some of the vaguer clues left by Berlin, adding substantially to Berlin’s intellectual legacy in a spirit entirely in keeping with his own work. It is as if an unfinished cathedral were completed by a new architect who intuited the vision of its original designer. Berlin would surely have applauded this exciting and original book, and learnt much from it.

28Jinkins, Michael, Christianity, Tolerance and Pluralism: A Theological Engagement with Isaiah Berlin’s Social Theory (London/New York, 2004: Routledge)

29Aarsbergen-Ligtvoet, Connie, Isaiah Berlin: A Value Pluralist and Humanist View of Human Nature and the Meaning of Life (Amsterdam/New York, 2006: Rodopi)

30Burtonwood, Neil, Cultural Diversity, Liberal Pluralism, and Schools: Isaiah Berlin and Education (London, 2006: Routledge)

31Crowder, George, and Henry Hardy (eds), The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah Berlin (Amherst, NY, 2007: Prometheus); minor corrections listed here

32Hama Shinichiro, Berlin no Jiyuu Ron: Tagenteki Liberarizumu no Keifu [Berlin on Liberty: A Genealogy of Pluralist Liberalism] (Tokyo, 2008: Keiso Shobo): also discusses Joseph Raz, John Gray, Judith Shklar, Avishai Margalit and Michael Ignatieff, and examines the tradition of liberalism based on the concept of individual autonomy rather than on the principles of justice

33Milosevich, Mira, and Julio Crespo (eds), Isaiah Berlin: un liberal en perspectiva ([Madrid,] 2008: FAES)

34Piatti Morganti, Bruna, Isaiah Berlin: L’ethos in politica: una questione in-attuale (Urbino, 2008: QuattroVenti)

35Polanowska-Sygulska, Beata, Pluralizm wartosci i jego implikacje w filozofii prawa [Value Pluralism and Its Implications for the Philosophy of Law] (Kraków, 2008: Ksiegarnia Akademicka)

36Hardy, Henry (ed.), The Book of Isaiah: Personal Impressions of Isaiah Berlin (Woodbridge, 2009: The Boydell Press in association with Wolfson College, Oxford); minor corrections listed here

37Hardy, Henry, Kei Hiruta and Jennifer Holmes (eds), Isaiah Berlin and Wolfson College, with a foreword by Hermione Lee (Oxford, 2009: Wolfson College) [a 68-page pamphlet published for the centenary of IB’s birth]

38L. Kopylov, T. Pozdnyakova and N. Popova, ‘I eto bylo tak’: Anna Akhmatova i Isaiya Berlin [‘That’s How It Was’: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin] (St Petersburg, 2009: The Anna Akhmatova Museum at Fountain House): the dates of the 1945–6 meetings between AA and IB that IB wrote about are probably 15–16 November 1945 and 5 January 1946; this book claims that there were further visits, again lasting into the early hours, on 17–18 and either 18–19 or 19–20 November, and also a meeting on 2 January – five meetings in all. IB never referred to any such additional meetings, but the evidence cited for them is not unpersuasive. See also The Times Literary Supplement ‘Commentary’ article.

39Geraldo Ramírez, Jorge (ed.), Isaiah Berlin: utopía, tragedia y pluralismo (Medellín, 2010: Fondo Editorial Universidad Eafit)

40Kamimori Ryo, Isaiah Berlin: Tagenshugi no seiji tetsugaku [Isaiah Berlin: The political philosophy of pluralism] (Tokyo, 2010: Shunjusha)

41Nasu Kosuke, Berlin toiu nano shisoushika ga ita: ‘Hitori no hito’ wo tooshite ‘Yononaka’ he [There Lived a Historian of Thought named Berlin: Through ‘a Person’ to ‘the World’], with an introduction by Shunsuke Tsurumi (Kyoto, 2010: Henshu Group SURE); order here

42Badillo O'Farrell, Pablo (ed.), Filosofía de la razón plural: Isaiah Berlin entre dos siglos (Madrid, 2011: Bibliotheca Nueva)

43Walicki, Andrzej, Encounters with Isaiah Berlin: Story of an Intellectual Friendship (Frankfurt am Main etc., 2011: Peter Lang); first published in Dialogue and Universalism

44Dubnov, Arie M., Isaiah Berlin: The Journey of a Jewish Liberal (London, 2012: Palgrave Macmillan)

45Baum, Bruce and Robert Nichols (eds), Isaiah Berlin and the Politics of Freedom: ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ 50 Years Later (New York and London, 2013: Routledge)

46Cherniss, Joshua L., A Mind and Its Time: The Development of Isaiah Berlin’s Political Thought (Oxford, 2013: Oxford University Press)

47Caute, David, Isaac and Isaiah: The Covert Punishment of a Cold War Heretic (New Haven and London, 2013: Yale University Press)

48Butin, Alexis, Isaiah Berlin, libéral et pluraliste (Paris, 2014: Michel Houdiard)

49Della Casa, Alessandro, L’equilibrio liberale: storia, pluralismo e libertà in Isaiah Berlin [The Liberal Balance: History, Pluralism and Freedom in Isaiah Berlin] (Naples, 2014: Guida)

50Liu, Dong and Xiangdong Xu (eds), Yisaiya Bolin yu dangdai zhongguo: ziyou yu duoyuan zhijian [Isaiah Berlin and Contemporary China: Between Liberalism and Pluralism] (Nanjing, 2014: Yilin Press); proceedings of a conference, ‘Isaiah Berlin and Contemporary China’, held on 10 March 2011 at Tsinghua University

Translation of Postscript

This volume is the proceedings of the ‘Isaiah Berlin and Contemporary China’ conference held in Beijing from 10 to 12 March 2011. Professor Xu and I were the initiators of this conference, held under the auspices of the Academy of Chinese Learning, Tsinghua University, and co-sponsored by Yilin Press.

The conference participants included scholars working on Isaiah Berlin from all over the world – from Tsinghua University, Peking University, Zhejiang University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Shandong University, the Chinese University of Hongkong, Academia Sinica, Flinders University, McGill University, the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, New York University, Brown University, the University of Vermont, Tulane University and the University of Notre Dame. Moreover, scholars from Yale University who were not able to be present also submitted papers.

The conference garnered many favourable comments from the participants. ‘For me, at least,’ writes a scholar in his email to other participants, ‘it will set the gold standard for academic conferences from now on.’ Such high opinions obviously reflect the impeccable organisation and full schedule of the conference, and the well-known hospitality of the Chinese hosts. Apart from these factors, however, what impressed the participants most, I believe, was the scholars’ careful preparation and arresting arguments, and their robust discussions in the conference. After a whole year of collation, translation and editing, it is finally time to publish its proceedings. Readers will find all my words to be true.

The title of this volume has two implications. First, because they value Isaiah Berlin – an intellectual originally belonging to the Anglophone world – so highly, contemporary Chinese scholars not only read his writings meticulously and enthusiastically, but also invited Berlinian scholars from the West to come and discuss Berlin’s life and thought in this ‘foreign’ land. This event accordingly occupies a special place in Berlin studies, and in the story of his reception. For the same reason, the Isaiah Berlin Literary Trust paid special attention to this conference. Secondly, although Berlin enjoys a great posthumous reputation in the West, these well-established Berlinian scholars discovered, perhaps to their surprise, that Berlin’s thought is much more intellectually vital and stimulating in China than in the West. They were intrigued and impressed to discover that Chinese scholars had, with an enormous investment of energy, translated most of Berlin’s writings into Chinese. For this reason I believe that, after this conference, they will be enormously inspired by this creative cross-national study, which will lead them to reconsider the significance of Berlin’s writings.

The subtitle too has two meanings. On the one hand, the relationship between liberalism and pluralism is mentioned in almost all the papers presented to this conference, and this reflects the fact that any serious reader of Berlin is bound to address this issue, and to worry about the challenge presented by the conflict between the two principles: the relationship referred to in the subtitle is a knotty problem in the interpretation of Berlin’s thought. On the other hand, contemporary Chinese scholars too are involved in the liberlaism/pluralism dilemma, and strive to work out a possible solution. Moreover, they wish, by communicating with their international colleagues, to secure an endorsement of the answers they have attempted to provide. The publication of this volume serves to promote and deepen the continuing discussion by enlarging its focus beyond the conference to the general reading public.

Professor Ying of Zhejiang University expresses similar opinions in his presentation to the conference, in which he shows us how, as a contemporary Chinese student of politics, he formed his intellectual outlook, and how he came to reflect on the political rules followed in China, and in the world as a whole, on the basis of certain fundamental, essential political ideas, as a result of reading Berlin’s most outstanding essays. As readers will discover, although he has arrestingly suggested that we have reached ‘post-Berlinism’, he gives many reasons to support his argument that Berlin, who has been regarded as outdated, is still a classic thinker, as well as a starting point for Chinese intellectuals to acquire a better understanding of theories offered by competing camps in contemporary Western political philosophy. I should like to add that even those readers who might not agree with this conclusion can at least empathise with Professor Ying’s distinctive personal story of reading Berlin. It is in this sense that we can understand why he quotes the famous line, ‘Holding a walking stick while listening to the flowing river’ (Yi zhang ting jiangsheng), written by Su Shi, a Chinese poet of the Song Dynasty, to demonstrate the significance of Berlin as an intellectual walking stick for those who listen to the tide of Western political philosophy.

Finally, and with the utmost sincerity, I express my gratitude to my colleagues at Yilin Press for supporting this conference, and moreover for their enthusiasm in publishing not only Berlin’s work but also all the other intellectually original works on their list. In the long run, their persistence in cultural construction will make ineffaceable and irreplaceable contributions to the future of Chinese civilisation as a whole.

51Pacheco Amitesarove, Antonio Jose, La aporía del binomio libertad–igualdad en Isaiah Berlin: El problema aporético de conciliar libertad e igualdad, política o económica, en una sociedad (Riga, 2014: Editorial Académica Española): NB this is a controversial imprint

52Çapan, Alişan, İsaiah Berlin: İki Özgürlük Arasinda [Isaiah Berlin: Between Two Freedoms] (Istanbul, 2015: On İki Levha Yayıncılık)

53Carandini, Andrea, Paesaggio di idee: tre anni con Isaiah Berlin (Soveria Mannelli, 2015: Rubbettino)

54Granovskaya, Ol'ga Leonidovna, ‘Idei I. Berlina i dilemmy liberalizma post-prosveshcheniya’ [‘The Ideas of I. Berlin and the Dilemmas of Post-Enlightenment Liberalism’] (Vladivostok, 2015: Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Far Eastern Federal University)

55Owens, Lewis, Like a Chemist from Canada: Shostakovich, Isaiah Berlin and Oxford, play first performed on 13 June 2015 at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, London

56Brockliss, Laurence, and Ritchie Robertson (eds), Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment (Oxford, 2016: Oxford University Press); proceedings of a conference held under the same title at Wolfson College, Oxford, 20–2 March 2014

57Lagi, Sara, and Nicoletta Stradaioli, Isaiah Berlin e Eric Voegelin storici delle idee: una riflessione sul monismo [Isaiah Berlin and Eric Voegelin, Historians of Ideas: A Reflection on Monism] (Florence, 2017: Centro Editoriale Toscano)

58Shinichiro Hama, Berlin to romanshugi [Berlin and Romanticism] (Tokyo, 2017: Seibundoh)

59Vējš, Jānis Nameisis, (in Latvian with an English summary reproduced below) Četras esejas par Berlinu [Four Essays on Berlin] (Riga, 2017: Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, University of Latvia); includes a Latvian translation of ’European Unity and Its Vicissitudes’

Author’s summary

The title of the book echoes Isaiah Berlin’s well-known work Four Essays on Liberty, which is familiar to readers in Latvia from the Latvian translation of 2000. Recently there has also been a sustained series of events to popularise the intellectual achievement of Berlin, in view of the fact that his birthplace is Riga – now the capital of the Republic of Latvia and a cultural centre of regional significance in the Baltic area.

The present volume is intended to offer to the academically minded Latvian readership a compact version of Berlin’s life and work by characterising him as an outstanding philosopher, historian of ideas, and social and political theorist. Accordingly, the first essay, entitled ‘Life’, offers the necessary information about Isaiah Berlin’s journey from Riga, where he was born in 1909,to Oxford in the United Kingdom, where he achieved academic fame and died in 1997.

Isaiah Berlin’s father – a successful timber merchant in Riga – was a highly esteemed member of the local Jewish community. During World War I the family went to St Petersburg (Petrograd), and after the Bolshevik coup left Russia to repatriate to Latvia – a newly independent sovereign state. In 1921 the Berlin family moved to England, where Isaiah obtained a high-quality education at St Paul’s School and Oxford University. He made a successful career there as an academic, public figure, founder of Wolfson College, and President of the British Academy (1974–8). He won several distinguished prizes of international significance.

Isaiah Berlin’s birthplace in Riga is well marked by a suitable memorial inscription attached to a beautiful art nouveau apartment building in a prestigious location. It is included in tourist routes as a significant site of architectural monuments, designed by, among others, Mikhail Eisenstein, father of the world-renowned filmmaker Sergey Eisenstein – another celebrity with Riga roots. Isaiah Berlin’s bust is at present located in the Central Reading Room of the National Library of Latvia – a recently completed, impressive structure that serves as a real monument to the vigorous cultural and intellectual life of the Latvian people today.

The second essay, ‘Philosophy’, deals with the philosophical background to Berlin’s intellectual development, starting in the 1930s. Attention is concentrated on the origin and development of British analytical philosophy, which is viewed as part of the general anti-Hegelian trend of philosophical enquiry in the leading British universities of the time. In particular, the views of G. E. Moore, A. J. Ayer and J. L. Austin are discussed at some length, so as to accentuate Berlin’s role in the general discussion of phenomenalism.

The third essay, ‘Ideas’, attempts to characterise briefly the originality of the ‘history of ideas’ approach practiced and theoretically formulated by Berlin. The essay discusses such themes as the relations between the humanities and scientific methodology, the monist/pluralist dichotomy, the role of historical enquiry, history as enlightened self-understanding, relativism, scepticism, enlightenment and counter-enlightenment. Discussion of these issues is related to Berlin’s highly original and incisive portrayal of such personalities as Alexander Herzen, Ivan Turgenev, Lev Tolstoy, Joseph de Maistre and other well-known figures of European thought. For a Latvian readership particular interest might be aroused by Berlin’s treatment of J. G. Herder and J. G. Hamann – German thinkers closely connected with spiritual developments in the Baltic German community in Riga. The essay pays attention to the nexus existing between the personal freedom of an individual and that of the nation as a social group.

The fourth essay, ‘Liberty’, is devoted to a discussion of the most celebrated theme of Berlin’s teaching (the term ‘teaching’ being used here in a specific sense, implying the overall character of his argumentation, rather than a strictly structured set of categorical statements). The essay deals with the problems of social and individual ethics by discussing such notions as value pluralism, the incommensurability of values, the human predicament and toleration.

The book draws on a selection of the existing biographical and scholarly studies of Berlin’s corpus, and undertakes to identify some of the main themes of his teaching. Berlin’s unique contribution to liberal social and political thought is discussed within the context of the British analytic tradition, in particular so-called Oxford philosophy of the mid-twentieth century, of which he ranks as one of the originators and an outstanding expositor.

This aspect – the comparatively extensive discussion of the philosophical items in the present volume – deserves mention, because, as a result of the specific circumstances of the development of political and spiritual life in Latvia during the recent (post-totalitarian) period, one feels the necessity to underscore the role of analytical methodology in strengthening liberal and democratic values both in academia and in public discussion in general.

The present volume also includes a translation into Latvian of Berlin’s essay ‘European Unity and Its Vicissitudes’, originally a lecture delivered by Berlin at an international conference on European culture in Amsterdam in 1959. It seems highly appropriate in present circumstances.

60Della Casa, Alessandro, Isaiah Berlin: La vita e il pensiero [Isaiah Berlin: His Life and Thought] (Soveria Mannelli, 2018: Rubbettino)

61Hardy, Henry, In Search of Isaiah Berlin: A Literary Adventure (London, 2018: I.B.Tauris; repr. by Tauris Parke 2019 [with corrections], 2020 [paperback, with new appendix])


‘Henry Hardy has produced a capstone to a remarkable story of letters, a Boswellian tale, a 40-year literary adventure.’
Randall See, Open Letters Review, 29 January 2021

‘Entrusted when quite young with the task of bringing Berlin’s Nachlass and extensive body of occasional writings into fit shape for public scrutiny, he successfully transformed essays and lectures that were, in their original form, notoriously slapdash in their presentation into pieces of impeccable scholarship. […] Hardy’s account makes it clear, and not because of any boasting on his part, that Berlin could not have done better in his choice of executor.’
Nikhil Krishnan, ‘Gift to Humanity: The Life-Work of Isaiah Berlin, the Non-Philosopher’s Philosopher’, The Times Literary Supplement, 15 May 2020, 10–11

‘Henry Hardy has self-effacingly devoted the larger part of his professional career to the editing, promoting and celebrating of the work of Isaiah Berlin. In Search of Isaiah Berlin: A Literary Adventure (I.B.Tauris) looks back over his long labours of love with fondness, a fine dry wit and a light salting of justified irritation at those entrusted with Berlin’s posthumous affairs. The second part consists of Hardy’s own philosophical response to Berlin’s theories on matters such as plurality, religious belief and our shared human nature. A wonderful book on a wonderful subject.’
John Banville, ‘Best Books of 2018’, Guardian

‘A touching and often fascinating memoir. […] Like a latter-day Boswell, Hardy has done much to preserve the ideas and, indeed, the memory of an extraordinary man for posterity.’
Adam Sisman, Literary Review

‘Absolutely fascinating […] absolutely absorbing […] Henry Hardy is a highly intelligent thinker in his own right […] a delightful read.’
Nigel Warburton, ‘The Best Philosophy Books of 2018’, Five Books

Anthony Phillips, Church Times

‘The new perspective on an important intellectual figure is of great value.’
Publishers Weekly

‘The essential difficulty of Berlin’s intellectual legacy is why Henry [Hardy] was needed, and this book shows more than any other how fruitful the relationship has been.’
Richard Lofthouse, ‘Searching for Isaiah Berlin: November’s Book of the Month’, Quad

‘Berlin was a refugee from the Russian Revolution who came to embody the spirit of European liberalism, a thinker as much at home on the wireless as in the lecture theatre. And his reputation, perhaps for that very reason, was more founded upon what he said than what he published. But during a long professional and personal association, Henry Hardy helped to condense [Berlin’s] thoughts, to turn radio talks, lectures and pieces of occasional journalism into a coherent account of Berlin’s thinking, properly sourced and footnoted. And Henry’s new book, In Search of Isaiah Berlin, preserves for posterity the story of how that thinking was preserved for posterity.’
Matthew Sweet, ‘Rethinking the Human Condition’, Free Thinking, Radio 3, 1 November 2018, 10:00 p.m.

‘Currently, Berlin’s published works stand at over twenty volumes, all of which have been either edited or co-edited by Hardy. This must count as one of the great editorial achievements of recent times. As a consequence of these tireless labours, we have virtually full access to one of the most cultivated and fascinating minds of the last century, a mind that had a unique ability to show the endless interest of ideas and the influence, often barely understood, they have on our lives.’
Johnny Lyons, Dublin Review of Books

‘Hardy cannot be praised enough for all the work he has done.’
Carel Peeters, Vrij Nederland

‘Henry Hardy […] is a brilliant literary editor who single-handedly transformed Berlin’s reputation […] a hugely enjoyable and accessible account of the relationship between the two men […] Hardy’s account of Berlin’s reluctance to publish some of his great essays, and his indifference to footnotes, is fascinating.’
David Herman, Jewish Chronicle

‘The scaffolding of scholarship is the well-referenced claim and the definitive footnote. This book is a testament to the unsung effort behind their creation.’
Paschal Donohoe, Irish Times

Michael Tanner, Spectator

‘Thanks to [Henry Hardy], it is no longer possible to portray Berlin as primarily a “salon virtuoso” who squandered his gifts in conversation.’
Michael Barber, Oldie

‘Written with passion, wit, and verve […] beautifully produced […] an invitation to reread a major thinker whose ideas remain relevant today’
Aurelian Craitu, Los Angeles Review of Books

‘Henry Hardy […] single-handedly transformed Berlin’s reputation. Without [him], Berlin’s standing would not be what it is today. It was an extraordinary partnership. “The Genius and the Pedant” is how Hardy describes it. At times, they seem more like a Jewish–Latvian Bertie Wooster and a calm, omniscient Jeeves.’
David Herman, New Statesman

‘a unique and lavish gift for all Berlinophiles, and one which could be given them by only one person’
Beata Polanowska-Sygulska, Archiwum Filozofii Prawa i Filozofii Spolecznej (in English); includes reply by Hardy; also available without log in here

‘an extraordinary literary experience’
Robert Cottrell

‘an absolutely compelling memoir about a relationship between two men which produced some of the great works in the history of ideas in post-war Britain’
David Herman

‘this fantastic book [...] is [...] superbly edited, beautifully produced, [and] extremely well written’
Timothy Garton Ash

Nine Amazon reviews, all five-star:

***** The Tale of a Thinker and Writer, and His Editor
‘Berlin was an extraordinary man. Hardy, his long-standing editor and friend, has acted like a modern Boswell and let us read the ideas of a great philosopher. Berlin was very reluctant to publish his many writings, so we owe Hardy a very big thank you.

‘Hardy has written a touching memoir of a genius whose parents were prosperous Jews. He spoke and wrote in a lucid and jargon-free manner. Berlin had a gift for making very complex ideas seem simple. Some of his most original and brilliant ideas originated in improvised lectures. It is evident that editing Berlin’s copious works was not easy, for Berlin could be obdurate. Hardy quotes from the letters between the two that lasted over twenty years. Readers learn a great deal about both men.

‘Isaiah was a champion of liberal values. Never pompous, he had a zest for life; he loved conversation. He captivated listeners with his rapid delivery. Noel Annan said he always used two words where one will not do.

‘Berlin’s essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox” and his book The Power of Ideas are outstanding. His book on Karl Marx is one of the best books about Marx. Berlin made a major contribution to contemporary thought. He was one of the intellectual touchstones of the past one hundred years.

‘Berlin was born in 1909 in Riga and he died in 1997. All who have studied philosophy will know that his most profound influence has been his articulation of a pluralistic idea of ethics. His work has been translated into numerous languages. As Hardy points out, his work has been controversial, particularly over the relationship between his commitment to liberalism, and his assertion of ethical pluralism. He has been praised and attacked as an intellectual Cold Warrior and for the mildness of his anti-Communism. His preferred writing genre was the essay. All of his later works were essays. Some have queried if he was a philosopher at all. He was, and his writings led to a revival of political theory.’
Dr Barry Clayton, Amazon UK

***** ‘A volume devoted mainly to the problems of editing the voluminous papers of an expert in the history of ideas who was disinclined to let them see the light of day and who had an interesting way with quotations and citations does not on the face of it sound like a riveting read. But when the expert is Isaiah Berlin and the editor Henry Hardy the story is indeed filled with interest and delight. Anybody who enjoys Berlin's writing owes a huge debt to Hardy, whose valiant and long-term struggle to get the essays out has resulted in the magnificent volumes we have access to today. Added to this narrative, Hardy looks at two areas where he felt that Berlin's value pluralism needed further explication – how religions, as essentially monist and potentially authoritarian organisations, fit into a pluralist world; and the nature of the common core of basic values that prevent value pluralism collapsing into relativism. An invaluable book for students and admirers of Berlin and value pluralism.’
Steve Foulger, Amazon UK

***** ‘A beautiful book
‘Bravissimo! Marvelous Scherlockismus! Henry Hardy is the Eckermann of our time.’
Farideh Gewsswein, Amazon US

***** ‘Henry Hardy, Isaiah Berlin’s lifelong editor, provides us with a unique portrait of the man and his ideas. Reading this vivid, heartfelt and eloquently written book you witness at first hand the flowering of a fascinating and productive friendship. Another virtue of Hardy’s book is that we are given an accessible and engaging account of Berlin’s ideas by a deeply knowledgeable, sympathetic but not uncritical guide.’
JR, Amazon UK

***** ‘What emerges most vividly from this very attractive and beautifully written book is the depth of the friendship that existed between the author and Isaiah Berlin. We are now fortunate to have a first-hand account of how their wonderful relationship began and blossomed and of the rich and permanent fruit it bore in the shape of Berlin’s scrupulously produced works.’
Johnny Lyons, Amazon UK

***** Great book
‘Very interesting.’
Guilherme Marques, Amazon US

***** ‘What I was hoping for; excellent.’
Edward Penning, Amazon UK

***** An account of a unique relationship
‘This is a book for someone already well informed on Isaiah Berlin. I found it absorbing both as an intellectual journey and for its psychological insights into IB and HH. Some might regard it as far too detailed but in this instance the detail is exactly what matters.’
K. Thompson, Amazon UK

***** Berlin’s editor
‘Charming and illuminating.’
Jeffrey Weiss, Amazon US

62Cherniss, Joshua L., and Steven B. Smith (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Isaiah Berlin (Cambridge etc., 2018: Cambridge University Press)

63Mori, Tatsuya, Sisou no seijigaku: Isaiah Berlin kenkyu [The Politics of Ideas: A Study of Isaiah Berlin’s Political Thought] (Tokyo, 2018: Waseda University Press)

Berlin is known as a pluralist, a liberal theorist, a historian of ideas and a Zionist. The purpose of this study is to understand his political ideas in a consistent manner, under the ‘existentialist’ assumption that not only his famous defence of negative freedom but also his work in the history of ideas reflect his own moral and political views. From this perspective, we can see him as a Jewish intellectual who lived during the ‘short twentieth century’ and faced the real dilemma between individual liberty and national belonging. His life as an intellectual gives us a case for reflecting on the viability of liberal political theory in the real world.

64Yeh, Hao, Isaiah Berlin (Taiwan, 2018: Linking), in the ‘Wings’ series

65Crowder, George, The Problem of Value Pluralism: Isaiah Berlin and Beyond (New York, 2019: Routledge)

66Müller, Jan-Werner (ed.), Isaiah Berlin’s Cold War Liberalism (London, 2019: Palgrave Pivot), essays by the editor, Joshua L. Cherniss and Jonathan Riley; a blot on the escutcheon of the publishing industry – grotesquely overpriced (£49.99 when first published) for a book of 94 pages, with a derisory index and numerous horrid errors

67(in Chinese) Ma Hualing, From Freedom to Serfdom: The Debate between Isaiah Berlin and Leo Strauss (Taipei, 2019: Linking Publishing Co.)

68Dimova-Cookson, Maria, Rethinking Positive and Negative Liberty (London, 2020: Routledge)

69Granovskaya, O. L., D. N. Drozdova and A. M. Rutkevich, Perekrestki kul´tur: Aleksandr Koire, Aleksandr Kozhev, Isaiya Berlin [Cultures at the Crossroads: Alexandre Koyré, Alexandre Kojève, Isaiah Berlin] (Moscow, 2020: Rosspen); the authors are misleadingly styled as editors by the publisher; the third part of the book, Granovskaya’s treatment of IB, is entitled ‘British Liberalism with a Russian Accent’

70Hall, Edward, Value, Conflict, and Order: Berlin, Hampshire, Williams, and the Realist Revival in Political Theory (Chicago, 2020: University of Chicago Press)

70Lyons, Johnny, The Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin (London, 2020: Bloomsbury)

71Lyons, Johnny, Isaiah Berlin and His Philosophical Contemporaries (Cham, 2021: Palgrave Macmillan)

72Hiruta, Kei, Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin: Freedom, Politics and Humanity (Princeton, 2021: Princeton University Press)

73Cherniss, Joshua L., Liberalism in Dark Times: The Liberal Ethos in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, 2021: Princeton University Press)

74Friedman, Jeffrey (ed.), Isaiah Berlin (Abingdon and New York, 2022: Routledge); originally published as [Jeffrey Friedman (ed.)], Symposium on Isaiah Berlin, Critical Review 32 (2020) no. 4

75Kocis, Robert A., Isaiah Berlin: A Kantian and Post-Idealist Thinker (Cardiff, 2022: University of Wales Press)

76Bachega, Leandro, Isaiah Berlin: pluralismo e dois conceitos de liberdade [Isaiah Berlin: Pluralism and Two Concepts of Liberty] (São Paulo, 2023: É Realizações)

The entries are arranged in chronological order of publication/performance

§ = contains discussion of / reference to the claim that pluralism undermines liberalism’s universalist pretensions; see also Writing about Isaiah Berlin / Texts

Thanks to those who have helped and are helping me to compile this list, including Gerald Chan, Shinichiro Hama and Wang Qian