Timothy Snyder to mark Isaiah Berlin day in Riga

Acclaimed American historian and author Timothy Snyder on October 16 will honour the literary and philosophic legacy of Isaiah Berlin, a native of Riga.

The central event of the ninth annual Isaiah Berlin Day will be an open lecture by Yale University professor Snyder, one of the foremost American historians and thinkers, and author of a number of books on Central and East European history.

His 2010 tome “Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin” has been acclaimed as one fo the best books of modern history in recent years and has been translated into 33 languages, including Latvian. Another Latvian translation of Professor Snyder’s work “On Tyranny” is soon to be released.

Snyder is working on a new book – “The Origins of Unfreedom,” which will provide the focus of his Isaiah Berlin Memorial Lecture "From Inevitability to Eternity: The New Politics of Unfreedom", according to the organizers.

Speaking ahead of his appearance, Snyder said: “In individual countries throughout the west, we all see worrying signs for democracy and the rule of law. The point of this lecture is to understand these signs as a pattern and to reveal the pattern as a historical moment."

The annual Isaiah Berlin commemoration will begin at 17.30 with a screening of Gints Grūbe’s and Dāvis Sīmanis’ documentary “Born in Rīga” (2010), a cinematographic exploration of one of the great 20th century philosophers Isaiah Berlin, focusing on his early childhood in Riga from 1909 to 1916. The documentary is based on remembrances of Berlin’s contemporaries and Berlin scholars.

Entrance to the Isaiah Berlin Day events is free of charge, but a complimentary ticket is required which can be obtained online (http://www.isaiahberlin.org/lv/events/17) or at the event venue – Splendid Palace (Elizabetes iela 61, Rīga).

The event will take place in Latvian and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided.

You can see a recent interview with Snyder below.


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