Introduction: Concepts, Character, and the Specter of New Cold Wars
The introduction discusses the complex ways in which Isaiah Berlin’s intellectual legacy has been contested. There is basic uncertainty as to where to place him on the political spectrum; and there are questions about the depth of his political thought, as well as his conduct as an intellectual during the Cold War. I argue that Berlin’s ideas and stance cannot simply be copied in the context of what some observers take to be a new Cold War, but that they merit renewed attention and do indeed hold important lessons for the present. The introduction also briefly summarizes the three chapters of the volume.