Peter's Reviews > The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History

The Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin
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's review
Jul 20, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history, philosophy
Read in April, 2011

Berlin is a political philosopher who concentrates on the history of ideas. I've been meaning to read his works for a while (part of that long list of books to read before I expire, which I don't plan to do anytime soon!) but have not. This work, really a long essay, examines Tolstoy's View on History (hence the subtitle) in which he appears to move against the determinist view of the Marxists and moves to appreciate the smaller, personal, transcendent forces behind historical movements. He rejects that there are laws of human behavior. Good for him. I'm sure other philosophers and historians have done other work on the forces of history and human behavior, but I agree with Tolstoy, that people will move when they are ready and the forces behind that movement are more complicated then academics will ever understand.

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