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American Poems: Book: The Roots of Romanticism
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The Roots of Romanticism

The Roots of Romanticism
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  • Author:Isaiah Berlin
  • Creator:Henry Hardy
  • Publisher:Princeton University Press
  • Category:Book
  • List Price: $20.95
  • Buy New: $11.98
  • as of 8/29/2014 15:10 EDT details
  • You Save: $8.97 (43%)
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  • Seller:LABYRINTH BOOKS
  • Sales Rank:507,962
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:192
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.7
  • Dimensions (in):0.6 x 6.3 x 9.3
  • Publication Date:April 1, 2001
  • ISBN:9780691086620
  • EAN:9780691086620
  • ASIN:0691086621
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days


Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis

The Roots of Romanticism at last makes available in printed form Isaiah Berlin's most celebrated lecture series, the Mellon lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965, recorded by the BBC, and broadcast several times. A published version has been keenly awaited ever since the lectures were given, and Berlin had always hoped to complete a book based on them. But despite extensive further work this hope was not fulfilled, and the present volume is an edited transcript of his spoken words.

For Berlin, the Romantics set in motion a vast, unparalleled revolution in humanity's view of itself. They destroyed the traditional notions of objective truth and validity in ethics with incalculable, all-pervasive results. As he said of the Romantics elsewhere: "The world has never been the same since, and our politics and morals have been deeply transformed by them. Certainly this has been the most radical, and indeed dramatic, not to say terrifying, change in men's outlook in modern times."

In these brilliant lectures Berlin surveys the myriad attempts to define Romanticism, distills its essence, traces its developments from its first stirrings to its apotheosis, and shows how its lasting legacy permeates our own outlook. Combining the freshness and immediacy of the spoken word with Berlin's inimitable eloquence and wit, the lectures range over a cast of the greatest thinkers and artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including Kant, Rousseau, Diderot, Schiller, Schlegel, Novalis, Goethe, Blake, Byron, and Beethoven. Berlin argues that the ideas and attitudes held by these and other figures helped to shape twentieth-century nationalism, existentialism, democracy, totalitarianism, and our ideas about heroic individuals, individual self-fulfillment, and the exalted place of art. This is the record of an intellectual bravura performance--of one of the century's most influential philosophers dissecting and assessing a movement that changed the course of history.

Amazon.com Review
In these lectures, originally delivered at Washington, D.C.'s National Gallery of Art in 1965, acclaimed historian of philosophy Isaiah Berlin addresses the origins of what he deems "the greatest single shift in the consciousness of the West that has occurred." His focus, apart from some digressions into Montesquieu, Hume, and Rousseau, is on the German philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and he runs through the contributions of Herder, Kant, Schiller, Fichte, Schlegel, and others in turn. He also shows how romanticism would later influence both the existentialists and the fascists, but paradoxically have its greatest influence upon the emergence of a liberalism that seems at complete odds with the romantic sensibility. Berlin's tone is informed but rarely obtuse, making The Roots of Romanticism as fun to read as it must have been to hear him deliver spoken. --Ron Hogan

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