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1999-2002 Plan

Introductory Course

Ethics and Coexistence Student Fellows

Ethical Dilemmas of Post-Conflict Reconciliation

Ethical Dilemmas: Preliminary Case Studies

Long Range Proposal

Martha Minow

Michael Ignatieff

A Poetics of Reconciliation: The Aesthetic Mediation of Conflict

Coexistence Program Director

Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff

A native of Canada, Michael Ignatieff holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University and has been a fellow at Kingıs College, Cambridge; Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris; and St. Antonyıs College, Oxford. Among his academic publications are Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment and The Needs of Strangers, an essay on the philosophy of human needs. Since 1984, he has worked as a free-lance writer, scripting television plays, feature films, novels and works of non-fiction. The Russian Album, a family memoir, won Canadaıs Governor General Award and the Heinemann Prize of Britainıs Royal Society of Literature in 1988. His second novel, Scar Tissue, was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1993. He has just completed a biography of the liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin and is now completing a 10-part history of the 20th century for BBC and CBC radio. Life Stories


  1. First Chapter of  ISAIAH BERLIN: A LIFE by Michael Ignatieff   Russian by birth, Jewish by descent, English by choice, Isaiah Berlin (1909-97) knit together three identities into a cosmopolitan sensibility that informed his contributions as one of the 20th century's most influential and important intellectuals. Based on his experiences as a child during the Russian Revolution and his friendships with such beleaguered writers as Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova, Berlin affirmed the superiority of individual freedom and judgment to Marxist totalitarianism. But he made fellow liberals uncomfortable with his unwelcome reminders that their ideals (liberty, equality, social justice) inevitably conflicted and required painful tradeoffs. London-based journalist Michael Ignatieff, who spent 10 years interviewing Berlin before his death, adeptly captures an appealing man: lighthearted, spontaneous, a brilliant conversationalist and lecturer (one of Oxford University's most popular professors), able to savor private happiness despite an essentially tragic view of political life. Ignatieff admires Berlin's views without accepting them uncritically; similarly, he acknowledges personal failings while appreciating the serenity Berlin achieved against considerable odds. This lucidly written, thoughtfully argued work is a model of the well-balanced biography, carefully evaluating the complex interplay of character and conviction in one remarkable individual.

  2. January 24, 1999 BOOKNOTES INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL IGNATIEFF   conducted by Brian Lamb for C-SPAN

  3. March 23, 1998 Review of THE WARRIOR'S HONOR: ETHNIC WAR AND THE MODERN CONSCIENCE by Michael Ignatieff   for the Boston Phoenix (Fred Turner).

  4. May 1998 "OUT OF DANGER" by Michael Ignatieff: Index on Censorship   In 1948, still reeling from the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, and swearing that 'never again' should such things be possible, the nations of the world signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fifty years on, after murder and mayhem in the name of the twin demons of religion and nationalism, and with free expression ­ the underpinning of all other rights ­ subject to new constraints unimaginable in the era of the Cold War, Index, together with UNESCO, osrts out the successes and failures of the UDHR and asks: what price a new universal Declaration?

  5. September 1996 "WOUNDED NATIONS, BROKEN LIVES" by Michael Ignatieff: Index on Censorship   It is open to question whether justice or truth actually heals. While it is an article of faith with us that knowledge, particularly self-knowledge, is a condition of psychic health, all societies including our own, manage to function with only the most precarious purchase on the truth of their own past

  6. May 1997 "VARIETIES OF EXPERIENCE" by Michael Ignatieff: Index on Censorship   Ignatieff argues that we do not need to agree on ethical substance, but on a set of rules in which to thrash out arguments The modern self is wonderfully varied and it is capable of making complex compromises between its particular individuality and the religions, traditions, ethnicity, geography and language, the collective forces, which forge it into a social being.

  7. May 20, 1999 Michael Ignatieff: HUMAN RIGHTS THE MIDLIFE CRISIS  The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen by Paul Gordon Lauren;   The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Fifty Years and Beyond edited by Yael Danieli, Elsa Stamatopoulou, Clarence J. Dias, foreword by Kofi Annan, and epilogue by Mary Robinson;   NGOs and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Curious Grapevine by William Korey;   The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights edited by Joanne R. Bauer and Daniel A. Bell;   Religion and Human Rights: Competing Claims? edited by Carrie Gustafson and Peter Juviler;   In the Lion's Den: A Shocking Account of Persecution and Martyrdom of Christians Today and How We Should Respond by Nina Shea, foreword by Chuck Colson, and afterword by Ravi Zacharius;   United States of America: Rights for All by Amnesty International USA;   The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting and Intent by Johannes Morsink;   Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence by Martha Minow;   War Crimes: Brutality, Genocide, Terror, and the Struggle for Justice by Aryeh Neier

  8. Mar 4, 1999 Michael Ignatieff: PROPHET IN THE RUINS
    Fall of the New Class: A History of Communism's Self-Destruction by Milovan Djilas, edited by Vasilije Kalezic, and translated from the Serbo-Croatian by John Loud

  9. Dec 18, 1997 Michael Ignatieff; Stuart Hampshire; Alfred Brendel; Aileen Kelly: ON ISAIAH BERLIN (1909 - 1997)

  10. Oct 9, 1997 Michael Ignatieff: THE GODS OF WAR
    Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War by Barbara Ehrenreich;   The Rosy Future of War by Philippe Delmas
    Postmodern War: The New Politics of Conflict by Chris Hables Gray

  11. Jun 12, 1997 Michael Ignatieff: IN THE CENTER OF THE EARTHQUAKE  Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg by Joshua Rubenstein;   Les Surprises de la Loubianka: nouvelles découvertes dans les archives littéraires du KGB by Vitaly Shentalinsky, French translation by Galia Ackerman, and Pierre Lorrain

  12. Oct 3, 1996 Michael Ignatieff: WHISPERS FROM THE ABYSS
    The Mandelstam and "Der Nister" Files: An Introduction to Stalin-era Prison and Labor Camp Records by Peter B. Maggs;   Arrested Voices: Resurrecting the Disappeared Writers of the Soviet Regime by Vitaly Shentalinsky, translated by John Crowfoot, and introduction by Robert Conquest;   Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930s by Véronique Garros, edited by Natalia Korenevskaya, edited by Thomas Lahusen, and translated by Carol A. Flath

  13. Mar 23, 1995 Michael Ignatieff: THE ART OF WITNESS
    A Year of the Hunter by Czeslaw Milosz and translated by Madeline G. Levine;   Facing the River: New Poems by Czeslaw Milosz and translated by the author and Robert Hass

  14. Apr 21, 1994 Michael Ignatieff: HOMAGE TO BOSNIA
    Bosnia: A Short History by Noel Malcolm;   Sarajevo: Survival Guide by the FAMA Collective, Sarajevo, 1993;   Why Bosnia? Writings on the Balkan War edited by Rabia Ali and Lawrence Lifschultz
    Sarajevo: A War Journal by Zlatko Dizdarevic, translated by Anselm Hollo, and edited by Ammiel Alcalay;   Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic

  15. May 13, 1993 Michael Ignatieff: THE BALKAN TRAGEDY
    The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War by Misha Glenny;   The Destruction of Yugoslavia: Tracking the Break-up, 1980-92 by Branka Magas;   The Balkan Express: Fragments from the Other Side of War by Slavenka Drakulic

  16. Nov 21, 1991 Michael Ignatieff: IN THE NEW REPUBLICS

  17. Feb 15, 1990 Michael Ignatieff: THE OLD COUNTRY
    Danube by Claudio Magris and translated by Patrick Creagh;   The Snows of Yesteryear: Portraits for an Autobiography by Gregor von Rezzori and translated by H. F. Broch de Rothermann

  18. Jun 29, 1989 Michael Ignatieff: THE RISE AND FALL OF VIENNA'S JEWS  The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph by Robert S. Wistrich;   Vienna and Its Jews: The Tragedy of Success, 1880s-1980s by George E. Berkley;   A History of Habsburg Jews, 1670-1918 by William O. McCagg, Jr.;   Judentum in Wien: Sammlung Max Berger catalog of the exhibition at the Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, November 12, 1987-June 5, 1988;   The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria (revised edition) Peter Pulzer;   The Viennese: Splendor, Twilight and Exile by Paul Hofmann;   Vienna and the Jews, 1867-1938: A Cultural History by Steven Beller

  19. Mar 2, 1989 Michael Ignatieff: ON BRUCE CHATWIN

  20. Jan 19, 1989. Michael Ignatieff: FREUD'S CORDELIA
    Anna Freud: A Biography by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl;   My Three Mothers and Other Passions by Sophie Freud

  21. Jun 12, 1986 Michael Ignatieff: The Jewish Freud
    Freud's Discovery of Psychoanalysis: The Politics of Hysteria by William J. McGrath;   Freud and His Father by Marianne Krull


  1. Dec 17, 1998 Alan Ryan: WISE MAN
    Isaiah Berlin: A Life by Michael Ignatieff
    The Proper Study of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays by Isaiah Berlin, edited by Henry Hardy, and Roger Hausheer

  2. May 28, 1998 Warren Zimmermann: BAD BLOOD
    The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience by Michael Ignatieff

  3. Oct 20, 1994 Helen Vendler: DEATH OF A SOUL
    Scar Tissue by Michael Ignatieff

  4. May 26, 1994 Tony Judt: THE NEW OLD NATIONALISM
    The Wrath of Nations: Civilization and the Furies of Nationalism by William Pfaff;   Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding by Walker Connor;   Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity by Liah Greenfeld;   Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha'am and the Origins of Zionism by Steven J. Zipperstein;   Liberal Nationalism by Yael Tamir;   Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism by Michael Ignatieff

  5. Nov 21, 1991 John Banville: WINNERS
    Jump and Other Stories by Nadine Gordimer
    Playing the Game by Ian Buruma
    Asya by Michael Ignatieff

  6. Sep 24, 1987 Bruce Chatwin: IN NATASHA'S TRUNK
    The Russian Album by Michael Ignatieff

  7. Nov 9, 1978 SHORT REVIEWS
    A Just Measure of Pain: The Penitentiary in the Industrial Revolution 1750-1850 by Michael Ignatieff
    Elusive Victory: The Arab-Israeli Wars, 1947-1974 by Trevor N. Dupuy

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[Announcement] [1999-2002 Plan] [Introductory Course] [Ethics and Coexistence Student Fellows] [Ethical Dilemmas of Post-Conflict Reconciliation] [Ethical Dilemmas: Preliminary Case Studies] [Long Range Proposal] [Martha Minow] [Michael Ignatieff] [A Poetics of Reconciliation: The Aesthetic Mediation of Conflict] [Coexistence Program Director]