Jacob L. Talmon: mission and testimony : political essays

Isaiah Berlin, David Ohana (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


"The historian Jacob L. Talmon (1916-1980) was chosen by an international committee of scholars as one of the major historians of the twentieth century. It declared that "his historiography was a convincing apologia for human freedom." Talmon owes his fame to his magnum opus, the trilogy that began with The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy (1952), continued with Political Messianism (1960) and concluded with The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution (1981). These works have been translated into many languages and have influenced many statesmen and intellectuals. Talmon's Mission and Testimony focuses on the destiny of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in the modern era. Part I, "The Nature of Jewish History", deals with the Jewish presence in history, the universal significance of Jewish history, and the impact of Jewish intellectuals. Part II, "From Anti-Semitism to the Holocaust", concerns the anti-Semitic climate of opinion that led to the Holocaust. Part III, "Israel between War and Peace", discusses the regional and global situation of the State of Israel. In Part IV, "Intellectual and Political Debates", Talmon confronts intellectuals and statesmen such as Arnold Toynbee and Menachem Begin. Part V, "Profiles in History", depicts the intellectual portraits of the historian Lewis Namier and the physicist and champion of human rights Andrei Sakharov. Isaiah Berlin, in his "Tribute to a Friend", wrote about Talmon--Provided by publisher.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEastbourne, England
PublisherSussex Academic Press
Number of pages571
ISBN (Electronic)1782842136
ISBN (Print)1845197410, 9781845197414
StatePublished - 2015


  • Jewish historians -- Israel -- Biography
  • Jewish philosophers -- Israel -- Biography
  • Jews -- Historiography
  • Talmon, J. L (Jacob Leib), 1916-1980
  • Israel -- Politics and government -- Philosophy


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