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Here at Enduring Interest we are in the midst of exploring books and essays that address the question of speech and censorship. Forthcoming episodes will discuss authors including Walter Berns, Irving Kristol, Herbert Marcuse, James Madison, and Pierre Manent. However, this month we’re pausing on that theme to discuss a newly published book by the great French thinker and writer Raymond Aron. On April 4, 1978 Aron brought his academic career to close with a final lecture at the College de France. It has been translated into English and brought out by Princeton University Press with the title of Liberty and Equality. It is a short but penetrating lecture which provides much needed precision and clarity on the question of liberty or liberties.
My guest is Daniel J. Mahoney, an expert on Aron’s thought. He has been a guest on this show before—he was here last time to discuss Aron’s classic book The Opium of the Intellectuals. Dan is Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Assumption University. His latest books include The Statesman as Thinker, Recovering Politics, Civilization and the Soul, and The Other Solzhenitsyn: Telling the Truth about a Misunderstood Writer and Thinker. He’s the co-editor of the indispensable volume The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings. His first book, The Liberal Political Science of Raymond Aron, was published in 1992.