This enthusiastically received collection contains Isaiah Berlin's appreciation of seventeen people of unusual distinction in the intellectual or political world - sometimes in both. The names of many of them are familiar - Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein, L. B. Namier, J. L. Austin, Maurice Bowra. With the exception of Roosevelt he met them all, and he knew many of them well.
For this new edition four new portraits have been added, including recollections of Virginia Woolf and Edmund Wilson. The volume ends with a vivid and moving account of Berlin's meetings in Russia with Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova in 1945 and 1956.