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The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History (Second Edition)

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The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History (Second Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This ancient Greek aphorism, preserved in a fragment from the poet Archilochus, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Leo Tolstoy and the philosophy of history, the subject of the epilogue to War and Peace. Although there have been many interpretations of the adage, Berlin uses it to mark a fundamental distinction between human beings who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things and those who relate everything to a central, all-embracing system. Applied to Tolstoy, the saying illuminates a paradox that helps explain his philosophy of history: Tolstoy was a fox, but believed in being a hedgehog. One of Berlin's most celebrated works, this extraordinary essay offers profound insights about Tolstoy, historical understanding, and human psychology.

This new edition features a revised text that supplants all previous versions, English translations of the many passages in foreign languages, a new foreword in which Berlin biographer Michael Ignatieff explains the enduring appeal of Berlin's essay, and a new appendix that provides rich context, including excerpts from reviews and Berlin's letters, as well as a startling new interpretation of Archilochus's epigram.

About the Author

Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) was one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. A fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, he was the author of many books, including Against the Current, The Crooked Timber of Humanity, and The Roots of Romanticism (all Princeton). Henry Hardy, a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, is one of Isaiah Berlin's literary trustees. He has edited several other volumes by Berlin, and is currently preparing Berlin's letters and remaining unpublished writings for publication.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Michael Ignatieff ix

Editor's Preface xiii

Author's Note xvii

The Hedgehog and the Fox 1

Appendix to the Second Edition 91

Index 117

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691156002
Author:
Berlin, Isaiah
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Hardy, Henry
Author:
Ignatieff, Michael
Subject:
History, Criticism, Surveys
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Political philosophy
Subject:
British literature.
Subject:
European History
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 halftones.
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Historiography
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Surveys

The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History (Second Edition) New Trade Paper
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Product details 144 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691156002 Reviews:
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