The Roots of Romanticism is the long-awaited text of Isaiah Berlin's most celebrated set of lectures, the Mellon Lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965 and heard since by a much wider audience on BBC radio. For Berli, the Romantics set in train a vast, unparalleled revolution in humanity's view of itself. They destroyed the traditional notion ...Read MoreThe Roots of Romanticism is the long-awaited text of Isaiah Berlin's most celebrated set of lectures, the Mellon Lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965 and heard since by a much wider audience on BBC radio. For Berli, the Romantics set in train a vast, unparalleled revolution in humanity's view of itself. They destroyed the traditional notion of objective truth in ethicsm with incalculable, all-pervasive results. In his unscripted tour de force Berlin surveys the myriad attempts to define romanticism, distils its essence, traces its development, and shows how its legacy permeates our outlook today.Read Less
New. Romanticism flourished briefly as a movement in the late 1700s, but its frontal attack on Western tradition continues to this day to reshape aesthetics, politics, and morality. Sir Isaiah Berlin, the brilliant twentieth-century historian of ideas, asserted that the [Romantic] revolution is the deepest and most lasting of all changes in the life of the West. Berlin long envisioned writing a book on Romanticism, but died before his plans came to fruition. Fortunately, he laid the groundwork in his 1965 Mellon Lectures. Editor Henry Hardy transcribed those talks to produce this collection of six essays, nicely balancing readability with the spontaneity that characterized Berlin's much-admired speaking style. Acknowledging that definitions of Romanticism have stymied scholars for centuries, Berlin masterfully traces the complex, often contradictory strands of Romantic thought, connecting famous thinkers (Rousseau, Kant) with lesser-known predecessors such as Vico, Hamann, and Herder. In Lasting Effects, he states what Romanticism did was to undermine the notion that in matters of value, politics, morals, aesthetics there are such things as objective criteria which operate between human beings. The resulting new attitude permeates every aspect of modern life, but Berlin, famous for his ambiguity, reserves final judgment. 171 pp.
This book is intellectual history at its best. Sir Isaiah Berlin, one of the foremost cultural scholars of the 20th century, traces the history of Romanticism from its German roots in religious quietism to the 20th century. He omits no important thinker in his sweeping evaluation of Romanticism, which represented nothing less than a fundamental shift in Western consciousness. The writing is clear and inviting. Berlin's book was first presented as lectures, and the written version therefore has a conversational tone. This book will change readers' minds about artistic, cultural, and political matters since the
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.