1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Interesting.....but what is this book about again?,
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This review is from: Isaac and Isaiah: The Covert Punishment of a Cold War Heretic (Hardcover)
This is a strange book. The ostensible topic is the claim that Isaiah Berlin blocked Isaac Deutscher's appointment to Sussex University, but this issue only appears after some 270 pages - Berlin was guilty, by the way. The vast majority of the book is about other issues entirely.
This doesn't mean that the book isn't entertaining - it is. It's well written. Caute is adept at making caustic asides at the work of both Deutscher and Berlin and, even if some of these miss their mark, the ones that hit raise a chuckle. Also, for anyone interested in the conflict between Marxism and Liberalism, the book offers a fair number of insights and Caute manages to get both points of view right most of the time.
So, Caute romps through a range of issues upon which Berlin and Deutscher disagreed throughout the Cold War. Berlin kept insisting that Deutscher was a 'falsifier' of evidence but no evidence to support his allegation was ever produced. In the end, Belin blocked Deutscher because Deutscher was a Marxist and was critical of Israel and Berlin was initially piqued because Deutscher heavily criticised one of Berlin's books.
Good read, but doesn't contain what it says on the cover.