A Zone of Engagement
The texts in this volume offer critical assessments of a number of leading figures in contemporary intellectual life, who are in different ways thinkers at the intersection of history and politics. They include Roberto Unger, advocate of plasticity; the historians of antiquity and of revolution, Geoffrey de Ste. Croix and Isaac Deutscher; the philosophers of liberalism, Norberto Bobbio and Isaiah Berlin; the sociologists of power, Michael Mann and W.G. Runciman; the exponents of national identity, Andreas Hillgruber and Fernand Braudel; the ironists of science, Max Weber and Ernest Gellner; Carlo Ginzburg, explorer of cultural continuity, and Marshall Berman, herald of modernity. A concluding chapter looks at the idea of the end of history, recently advanced by Francis Fukuyama, in its successive versions from the nineteenth century to the present, and considers the situation of socialism today in the light of it.