Education: Too Many Helpers

As a first secretary at Britain's Washington embassy during World War II, broad, black-haired Isaiah Berlin developed two bad habits: he was always late to work (he likes to sleep until 10:30), and always the last to appear at a dinner party. No one minded. His flashing dinner talk never failed to charm Washington hostesses and capital pundits. And his brilliant reports on U.S. thinking and doing made him Winston Churchill's most penetrating official observer of wartime America.

Last week, Philosopher Berlin was still observing. He had returned to Oxford to take up his...

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