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The Intellectual As Warrior: Isaiah Berlin’s Cold War

Zhang, Lanbo

This thesis challenges the notion of the academic as a neutral observer by regarding Isaiah Berlin as an active Cold War participant. In reformulating the intellectual’s role, this paper looks to add a new perspective to the Cold War and another element in how it is defined and conceived as a conflict. The objective of such a project is to understand why the West came to perceive the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a serious threat following World War II from an intellectual’s perspective. While recognizing the relevance and reality of the Cold War as a material conflict, this paper assigns vital importance to the epistemological and moral aspects of the Cold War to show that many of its stakes were in ideas. By looking into the life and works of one of the twentieth century’s most influential Western intellectuals, this thesis hopes to uncover the underlying moral rationale behind one of the most peculiar conflicts in modern history from the perspective of one of its actors.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
History
Thesis Advisors
Connelly, Matthew J.
Degree
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
June 3, 2014
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