Duelling new English-language versions of ‘Anna Karenina’ raise questions about Leo Tolstoy’s complex and contradictory attitudes toward Jews. Benjamin Ivry explains.
Isaiah Berlin’s influential essay, “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” which focuses on Leo Tolstoy’s view of history, is much more than it seems on the surface.
The poet W. H. Auden once remarked that hearing gourmets describe favorite meals made him wish he could live on pills, and reading the memoirs of some art collectors describing their acquisitions can make one want to live sans art. An exception to this trend is the art connoisseur Michel Strauss, born in France in 1936 to Jewish parents, and former Head of the Impressionist and Modern Art Department at Sotheby’s auction house, London.
The iPad is a fox.
Commemorations continue apace for the hundredth birthday of the historian of ideas Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997). Born in Riga to a Russian Jewish family, he is being honored by the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Toronto (Sept 3-6); a Harvard conference from September 25-26 and other academic events. Yet much remains also for general readers, many of whose imaginations Berlin snared with his captivating study “The Hedgehog and the Fox” (1953), which divides writers and thinkers into two categories, citing an ancient Greek maxim: “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”