Political Ideas in the Romantic Age By Isaiah Berlin

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The Independent Culture

"I was exhausted at the end," begins one of the most off-putting quotes on any book cover, "yet I am sure that if ever I saw anyone in a true state of inspiration it was then." This was the report of Berlin's secretary about the 1952 lectures on which this book is based. Whether you find it "exciting" (Daily Telegraph) depends on your propensity to be inspired by Berlin. This reviewer found the book to be gassy, abstruse and, yes, exhausting. Shelley, the greatest political poet among the English Romantics, does not rate a single mention.

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