Agreed. Berlin's book is not the easiest in the world to read. But, then again, neither is Plato, or John Locke, or even Mill for that matter. He writes in a 19th century style, but one which, I think is beautiful and elegant. This is not a book to be devoured, but to be savored. Each word is carefully crafted. To me, Berlin is like diving into a pool of the english language, and just floating in ideas and language. And the ideas are wonderful. More than any other political philosopher, Berlin has diagnosed the problems, and the dangers, of modern social and political thinking. When he argues that those who advocate limits on liberty, in the name of justice, or equality, or another ideal, are in fact diminishing the amount of liberty in society as a whole it is hard not to agree with him. His analysis of the problems of modern philosophy and political thought is as acute. These are the ideas that I now find most compelling in this book. The essay of the two types of liberty is wonderful, as is the one on Historical Inevitability. But it is the essay on Political Ideas in the 20th Century that has become my favorite over the year, for the simple reason that he was incredibly prophetic. In the 19th century, Berlin argues, conservatives and liberal, even socialists, despite their differences agreed on the fundamental questions of politics; who should rule? What is the basis of authority? Why should I obey? What are the obligations and responsibilities of citizenship? In the 20th century, we no longer even consider the questions to be important, or relevant. All political problems have been reduced to either technical matters, of social or economic engineering, or are treated as psychological disorders, that need theraputic treatment. We accept the lost of liberty because we no longer think of it as important, as a question that needs solving. Problems like poverty, or equality, or a cleaner environment, which are suseptible of technical solutions. Anyone who worried about liberty in the face of all of these problems was, ipso facto, crazy, and a refusal to face reality. Hence, prozac or lithium is the prescribed course of treatment, to remove the source, or at least the feeling, of discontent. It is time to take another look at Berlin, not merely as a defender of liberty, but as an analyst of modern political and social thinking, and the dead ends to which it is leading us.