A collection of essays by the great pluralist thinker Isaiah Berlin. He is a brilliant historian of ideas and here he discusses Vico, Herder, de Maistre and other influential ideas and thinkers. His essay on nationalism is excellent, observing as he does how the significance of the whole phenomenon of nationalism, as clear today as it ever has been, was entirely underestimated by Marx and his contemporaries.

The style is learned but languid, a joy.