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  • The Hedgehog and the Fox

  • An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History
  • By: Isaiah Berlin
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 2 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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The Hedgehog and the Fox

By: Isaiah Berlin
Narrated by: Peter Kenny
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Summary

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.

For Isaiah Berlin, there is a fundamental distinction in mankind: those who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things - foxes - and those who relate everything to a central all-embracing system - hedgehogs. It can be applied to the greatest creative minds: Dante, Ibsen and Proust are hedgehogs, while Shakespeare, Aristotle and Joyce are foxes.

Yet when Berlin reaches the case of Tolstoy, he finds a fox by nature, but a hedgehog by conviction; a duality that holds the key to understanding Tolstoy's work, illuminating a paradox of his philosophy of history and showing why he was frequently misunderstood by his contemporaries and critics.

With a foreword by Michael Ignatieff

A W&N Essential 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©1953 Isaiah Berlin (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"Beautifully written and suggestive." (W. H. Auden, New Yorker)

"Delightful." (Sunday Times)

"Ingenious and subtle...exactly what good critical writing should be." (Guardian)

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