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The way we were

Two extracts from the letters of Isaiah Berlin

By prospect   June 2009

Berlin was one of the 20th century’s greatest liberal thinkers—and one of its frankest, most eloquent and prolific letter-writers. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth on 6th June, Prospect will be featuring a special online review of his letters by David Herman. The extracts below are taken from the second volume of Berlin’s correspondence, Enlightening: Letters 1946-1960, edited by Henry Hardy and Jennifer Holmes (Chatto & Windus, £35), published on 4th June.

18th July 1949

To Arthur Schlesinger, written while crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth. Peace, tranquillity, & on board, apart from the usual clever…

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