The Public Interest

Bertrand de Jouvenel’s melancholy liberalism

Brian C. Anderson

Spring 2001

OF the major political thinkers of his generation—including Raymond Aron, Isaiah Berlin, Michael Oakeshott, and Leo Strauss—Bertrand de Jouvenel suffers from relative neglect. During the 1950s and 1960s, the French philosopher and political economist enjoyed a considerable reputation in the English-speaking world. He lectured as a visiting professor at Yale and the University of California-Berkeley, and his books garnered serious reviews in prestigious journals. But by the time of his death in 1987, his star had dimmed. Read through a span of recent political-theory journals and you will rarely encounter his name.

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