Annual Isaiah Berlin lecture from Rīga

The annual day dedicated to one of Rīga's most famous sons, Sir Isaiah Berlin, takes place December 13 at the historic “Splendid Palace” cinema.

The Foundation for an Open Society DOTS runs the event each year to celebrate Berlin’s legacy, and discuss the ideas and values expressed and defended by Berlin: pluralism, tolerance and individual liberty.

You can read the full program of today's events at the official website of the event, and you will be able to follow the main lecture live here on LSM from around 18:15 Rīga time.

Isaiah Berlin was born in Riga on June 6, 1909, the only child of a wealthy merchant. He left it in 1915 and despite hopes of a return in 1920, when Isaiah was eleven, the family decided to move to London, England, where he eventually became one of the pre-eminent thinkers of his day.

2018 will mark the 10th Isaiah Berlin day in Rīga, with a revival of interest in Berlin and his theories well under way.

Many distinguished speakers have visited in previous years and this year the lectern will be taken by Professor Stephen Kotkin, an American historian, author and professor in history and international affairs at Princeton University. The title of his lecture will be: "Turning Points: Yesterday’s World, and Tomorrow’s"

Kotkin is the author of many books on history and politics, among them "Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of Communist Establishment", "Armageddon Averted: the Soviet Collapse, 1970-2000" and the biography of Stalin. He was a Pultizer Prize finalist for the first volume of the biography - Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928.


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