Ignatieff, Michael 1947-
Ignatieff, Michael 1947-
(Michael Grant Ignatieff)
Born May 12, 1947, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; son of George (a diplomat) and Alison (a painter) Ignatieff; married Susan Barrowclough (a computer programmer), December 20, 1977 (marriage ended, 1993); married Zsuzsanna Zsohar; children: (first marriage) Theo, Sophie. Education: University of Toronto, B.A., 1969; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1975; Cambridge University, M.A., 1978. Hobbies and other interests: Tennis, swimming.
Office—131 Bloor St. W., Ste. 504, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1S3. Agent—(Rights permissions) A.P. Watt Ltd., 20 John St., London, England WC1N 2DR. E-mail—[email protected]
Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, reporter, 1966-67; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, teaching fellow, 1971-74; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, assistant professor of history, 1976-78; King's College, Cambridge, England, senior research fellow, 1978-84; École des Hautes Études, Paris, France, visiting professor, 1985; British Broadcasting Corporation Television, London, England, host of Thinking Aloud, 1986—; Channel Four, host of Voices, 1986; BBC2, The Late Show, host, 1989-92; John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights, 2000-05; University of Toronto, Toronto, visiting professor in human rights policy and senior fellow of the Munk Centre for International Studies, 2005—. Member of Parliament, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Canada, 2006—. Host of various television documentaries; member of campaign staff for P.E. Trudeau, former prime minister of Canada, 1968.
Governor General's Award and Heineman Prize, Royal Society of Literature, both 1988, both for The Russian Album; MIND Book of the Year/Allen Lane Award, 1993, for Scar Tissue; George Orwell Prize, 2000, for Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond; awarded a number of honorary doctorates.
A Just Measure of Pain: The Penitentiary in the Industrial Revolution, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1978.
(Editor, with Istvan Hont) Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Classical Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1983.
The Needs of Strangers, Chatto and Windus (London, England), 1984, Viking (New York, NY), 1985.
(With Hugh Brody) Nineteen Nineteen (screenplay), Faber (London, England), 1985.
The Russian Album (nonfiction), Viking (New York, NY), 1987.
Asya (novel), Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.
Scar Tissue (novel), Chatto and Windus (London, England), 1993, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (New York, NY), 1994.
Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism (companion book to BBC-TV series), Farrar, Straus and Giroux (New York, NY), 1994.
The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1998.
Isaiah Berlin: A Life (biography), Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1998.
Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond (essays), Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2000.
The Rights Revolution (essays), House of Anansi Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (essays), edited by Amy Gutmann, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2001.
Empire Lite: Nation-Building in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, Penguin Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
Magnum Degrees, Phaidon Press (London, England), 2003.
Charlie Johnson in the Flames (novel), Grove Press (New York, NY), 2003.
The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror, Penguin Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
(Editor, with Simon Chesterman and Ramesh Thakur) Making States Work: State Failure and the Crisis of Governance, United Nations University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
(Editor) American Exceptionalism and Human Rights, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2005.
After Paradise, Chatto and Windus (London, England), 2007.
Also author of scripts for radio and television documentaries. Contributor to periodicals, including the New Yorker, Financial Times, Guardian, Dissent, and New York Times magazine. Contributor to books, including the introduction to Moments of Reprieve, by Primo Levi, translated by Ruth Feldman, Penguin, 2002. Editorial columnist for the London Observer, 1990-93.
Michael Ignatieff, who is well-known in England for his television work, is also the author of the award-winning family saga The Russian Album, as well as works on historical and political topics, a well-received biography of Isaiah Berlin, several novels, and a screenplay. His interest in history is evident throughout his writing, and his fiction as well as his nonfiction is informed by history, according to Contemporary Novelists biographer Peter Brigg. "Michael Ignatieff arrived at fiction by the route of introspection, through sensitive and intelligent effort to understand both his personal and historical moment," Brigg remarked, adding that frequently in his nonfiction, Ignatieff "demonstrates a rare balance between analysis and personal involvement, commitment conditioned by historical perspective."
In A Just Measure of Pain: The Penitentiary in the Industrial Revolution Ignatieff looks at England's penal systems, and explores how social, religious, and economic conditions during the Industrial Revolution resulted in prison reform. According to the book, local jails—at first merely a temporary holding place for citizens awaiting trial—have evolved into a national system of confinement and punishment for criminals.
In The Needs of Strangers, Ignatieff examines questions of democracy and freedom in an impersonal society. In the book, Ignatieff writes that "we are more than right-bearing creatures. There is more to respect in a person than his rights." While society may attempt to provide for each other with material goods, there remains more spiritual needs—such as compassion and an appreciation of individuality—that are not being realized. In considering this issue, Ignatieff enlists examples from the writings of the world's greatest thinkers and philosophers, including St. Augustine, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, William Shakespeare, and Karl Marx. While acknowledging that The Needs of Strangers "offers no solution to the difficulties beyond moral ones," Toronto Globe and Mail reviewer Dennis Duffy declared that "the book has texture, richness and depth of intellect and feeling. … The function of writers of the quality of Michael Ignatieff lies in challenging and heartening the rest of us, to move us to deeper understanding and broader compassion."
The film Nineteen Nineteen, starring Paul Scofield and Maria Schell, was written by Ignatieff and Hugh Brody, who also directed the motion picture. From the perspective of the year 1970, the film looks back at the lives of the last two surviving patients of Sigmund Freud and his pioneering work in psychoanalysis. In the London Times, David Robinson called Nineteen Nineteen "a romantic, rewarding, human story," and many reviewers lauded the characterization of Sophie and Alexander.
In his next work, The Russian Album, Ignatieff again looks to the past and its effect on the present—this time in a memoir of four generations of his own family. "Using their unpublished memoirs, mementoes and photos as the basis for his account," Ignatieff creates a "well-told story of fidelity, folly and … trust," asserted Duffy in a Globe and Mail review. Beginning with his great-grandfather, Count Paul Ignatieff of Czar Nicholas's education ministry, and his great-grandmother, the Russian princess Natasha, Ignatieff relates the downfall of the aristocracy during the Russian Revolution of 1917, and how the Ignatieff family survived in the midst of the revolution. In the New York Times, Walter Goodman flatteringly compared the author to Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov, and postulated that "the most fascinating passages" of the story "come in the account of the revolution through aristocratic eyes. Paul, a hard-working public servant, who had despaired of the Czar's inept rule, found himself trapped between the whites and the Bolsheviks, neither of which had much use for a well-born liberal constitutional monarchist." Chicago Tribune critic Howard A. Tyner concluded: "The Russian Album is as much an act of loving familial duty as a look at one of history's most fascinating periods."
Ignatieff's novel Asya is the ninety-year saga of Princess Anastasia (Asya) Vladimirova Galitzine, a woman of strength and passion who endures the chaos of the Russian Revolution, the loss of her husband, and the difficulties of raising her son alone. Muriel Spanier commented in the New York Times Book Review that "with the current real-life drama of the Soviet Union swiftly unfolding, Asya could hardly be more timely both in its historic sweep and its intense focus on the life of one woman caught in the tumult of war and revolution." The story follows Asya through the 1920s in Paris, the approach of World War II, and her flight to Spain, England, and, ultimately, back again to Moscow. In the New York Review of Books, John Banville wrote that Asya is "a rather old-fashioned and unexpectedly suspenseful story" that is "wonderfully entertaining, and at times quite moving." In Brigg's opinion, "the novel is enriched both by historical accuracy of detail and by the development of Asya herself from a self-willed rich child to a suffering and perceptive woman. … Although it owes structural debts to the sweeping historical epic novel, Asya is anchored to the intimate life of a woman whose stature grows greatly in the reader's eyes until she stands as a marker of strength of will mixed with keen self-knowledge drawn from the century of pain."
In Scar Tissue Ignatieff turns from the sweep of history to an intense psychological scrutiny of the effects of neurological dementia on a fictionalized family. The narrator's mother suffers an inherited disorder in which, as described by Boyd Tonkin in the London Observer, "his mother's personality atrophies like a flower in a ‘ghastly time-lapse film.’" The fear of a similar fate hangs over the entire family as the father—once a self-confident man—dies suddenly, and the sons, in the words of Mark Wormald in the Times Literary Supplement, "probe the tragedy of the images now travelling disconnected across the darkened screen of their mother's mind." Wormald concluded that "Scar Tissue keeps turning the fearful into the interesting. Not the least of the book's achievements is the way Ignatieff's prose mediates … between the rhythms and conventions appropriate to both states, and among everyone involved in the condition at the heart of the family and the plot." According to Brigg, this style that "mixes time and allows for the flows of feeling and language" represents "an immense leap from the conventional omniscient chronological narration of Asya." He added that " Scar Tissue is a book dominated by such a searing intimacy of anguish that it is, simply, hard to read. Yet it is so powerful and its subject matter so central to human experience that it exerts a grip on the imagination matched only by other unrelentingly direct fictions, like those of Samuel Beckett. … Scar Tissue marks the emergence of a fully disciplined and original writer who communicates the deepest and most painful of human questions through the lives it portrays."
Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, a companion book to a BBC-TV series, explores what nationalism has meant in the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia, the reunified Germany, the Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Kurdistan, and Quebec, Canada. Ignatieff, who was born in Canada of British and Russian parentage and lived in several different countries while growing up as the son of a diplomat, has a connection either by heritage or experience to many of these places. In researching the book, he traveled to all of them and interviewed residents. He bemoans the fact that in these areas nationalism has manifested itself as a call for ethnic separatism. "Wherever I went," he writes, "I found a struggle going on between those who still believe that a nation should be a home to all, and that race, color, religion and creed should be no bar to belonging, and those who want their nation to be home only to their own." The latter, he says, appear to have the upper hand.
Some reviewers thought Ignatieff a bit too pessimistic and argued that his book even contains information that would support another view. Commentary contributor Patrick Glynn remarked: "I have some sympathy for Ignatieff's desire to stress the overriding danger of nationalism. … But upon reflection, I am more and more persuaded that Yugoslavia and other such situations constitute not so much a foreshadowing of the future as an unpleasant echo of the ugly past. Interestingly, Ignatieff, despite his fears of nationalism, offers a good deal of evidence to support this alternative interpretation." This evidence, according to Glynn, includes Ignatieff's observation that some of the most fanatical nationalists no longer seem to believe what they're saying. Francis Fukuyama, writing in the New York Times Book Review, contended that the examples of nationalism at its worst, such as the bloody strife between Serbs and Croats in Yugoslavia, are not representative of all nationalist movements. Those involved in the independence movement in Quebec, for instance, "make clear to [Ignatieff] that their version of nationalism is liberal, non-ethnic and non-discriminatory," Fukuyama pointed out. He also objected to Ignatieff's "nostalgia for the old imperial systems," whose demise brought on instability and ethnic tension. "One could argue, in fact, that the old authoritarian empires made nationalism worse by not permitting moderate expressions of national consciousness," Fukuyama noted. He admired some aspects of the book, however, commenting that Ignatieff "is much better at observing small details, where he can bring to bear the talents of a journalist and novelist, than in making broad generalizations." Glynn praised Ignatieff as "a candid and fair reporter … a subtle writer and a good stylist," and asserted that "this is a book worth looking at." Gary Gerstle, reviewing the book for Tikkun, not only lauded Ignatieff's reporting capabilities but also found his summation of the state of nationalism on target: "In an age in which every day seems to bring news of yet another outbreak of inter-ethnic violence, it is easy to understand his pessimism." Gerstle recommended Blood and Belonging highly, saying: "Anyone seeking a penetrating look at the world's ethnic furies would do well to start with this book."
Ignatieff deals with this subject again in The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience, which collects essays that had appeared in the New Yorker and other magazines, primarily in the preceding two or three years. Like Blood and Belonging, these essays are based on Ignatieff's firsthand observations as a traveler to many of the regions torn by ethnic conflict. He also looks at how the rest of the world has responded to these crises, often with humanitarian aid efforts spurred by television coverage. He thinks, however, that even though television has inspired some positive actions, it may have promoted a superficial view of these conflicts; he also recognizes that humanitarian intervention has limits on what it can accomplish. Yet he is optimistic that a deeper understanding of the world's trouble spots can be a catalyst for aid programs that will be effective over the long term.
"Insofar as Ignatieff draws a conclusion, it is that television journalism ought to be more responsible and show more respect for the dramas it sometimes has an opportunity to portray," commented David Fromkin in Foreign Affairs. He saw the book as strong in its details but weak in its overall viewpoint: "To the illumination of dark deeds on the killing fields Ignatieff brings a poetic sensibility and a lyrical style that many will find beguiling. His individual insights often succeed brilliantly. His leaps at synthesis, however, usually fall short. He is impressionistic rather than systematic, suggestive rather than explicit. What eludes him is the unifying vision, the explanation that makes sense of it all. It may not exist." Similarly, an Economist critic thought that "Mr. Ignatieff's writing, though taut in reportage, sags into the cloudier sort of lit-crit talk when he turns analytical." Jessie Banfield, writing in African Business, pronounced The Warrior's Honor "a pertinent critique of Western responses, and the sentiments and assumptions that inform them, to ethnic war in developing countries," but added that "Ignatieff is unable to offer an ideal Western role. He seems confused as to whether it should take a more proactive stance, or not interfere." New Republic reviewer David Rieff found Ignatieff's perspective too narrow: "Ignatieff has written a book about the Western conscience and the Western response to certain types of contemporary disaster; but he thinks that he has written something universal. … Ignatieff's inability to think critically about his liberal assumptions leads to inaccuracies and intellectual shortcuts. He asks ‘what has happened to make the world seem so dangerous and chaotic.’ But the world does not seem that way, it is that way, at least outside the sanctuary of rich countries where the savagery is under control and people are not so afraid of one another that they can be easily made to kill."
Isaiah Berlin: A Life looks at a man who was one of his era's most esteemed political thinkers. Berlin was born in Latvia, which was then part of Russia, in 1909, and as a child came with his parents to England, a move brought on by the 1917 Russian Revolution. He eventually became a professor at Oxford, a member of Britain's diplomatic corps during World War II, a radio commentator, and an important philosopher and writer on the nature of freedom, with such famous essays as "Two Concepts of Liberty." Ignatieff describes Berlin as "a New Deal liberal, convinced that individuals could not be free if they were poor, miserable and undereducated. … But he challenged the whole postwar social democratic tradition by pointing out that the values at the heart of it—equality, liberty and justice—contradicted each other." He also finds that Berlin "took three conflicting identities, Russian, Jewish and English, and braided them together into a character at one with itself." Ignatieff based his book primarily on ten years's worth of interviews with Berlin, who stipulated that the biography be published after his death, which came in 1997.
Noting that Berlin had a "love of lightness and wit," New Republic contributor Ian Buruma declared that "Michael Ignatieff has written a fine biography in the spirit of his subject. It is relatively short, filled with anecdotes culled from Berlin's table-talk. The book is light in the best sense: entertaining without ever lacking in seriousness." Time International reviewer Alan Bullock remarked that "given the complexity of his subject, Ignatieff has succeeded as much as anyone could expect." Besides exploring Berlin's intellectual life, Ignatieff is able, Bullock reported, "to fill in the other side of Berlin's genius, the private life which was every bit as important to him as the gifts with which he held captive the lecture and radio audience." This private life included a late but happy marriage and an "enjoyment of friendship and humor," Bullock explained. In the New Leader, Christopher Clausen called Isaiah Berlin "a biography that manages to be both authorized and independent," adding that "Isaiah Berlin seems … to have been a man so intelligent, engaging and lucky that almost everything worked out for him spontaneously. He has been equally fortunate in his biographer."
Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond was published on the one-year anniversary of the war in Kosovo and is another Ignatieff book on the Balkan crisis. In this volume he contends that because of technology, the West cannot be defeated. He points out that bombs were dropped from heights that protected the personnel who released them, also preventing close targeting of the enemy and causing greater casualties among noncombatants, which in the case of this conflict resulted in an ineffective result. In addition, he contends, Western citizens are protected from observing the gruesome realities of war, which is now fought by "virtual" means, thereby reducing costs and loss of military lives. Ignatieff favored NATO intervention, but in the book revisits its effectiveness and morality. He was there, and he profiles many of the leading characters, including U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav writer Aleksa Djilas, who was opposed to the bombing.
Bruce Nelan wrote in Time International: "In Kosovo, bombs eventually changed Milosevic's mind, though it bothers Ignatieff that they also destroyed the Belgrade power grid and other largely civilian targets. But bombs and missiles did not defeat Milosevic's army in the field. To do that, ground troops would have been necessary, and that idea sent shudders through Washington." New Statesman critic John Simpson remarked: "Virtual War is not a comfortable book. I admire Ignatieff all the more for facing up to the uncomfortable, and allowing it to alter his views accordingly."
Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, a collection of essays by Ignatieff that also includes responses by others, studies the progress of human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Ignatieff's two main essays, which are based on presentations he made at Princeton University, he points out failures such as the lack of intervention in Rwanda, which effectively spawned a genocide, and calls for more honesty in human rights policy. He writes that "the problem in Western human rights policy is that by promoting ethnic self-determination, we may actually endanger the stability" critical to human rights, because "we can be certain that self-determination for some groups will be purchased with the blood of the minorities in their midst." At the time Ignatieff was the recently appointed director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. David Petrasek pointed out in Ethics & International Affairs: "Though this community has long had its revered academics and its pantheon of ‘founders,’ it has, until Ignatieff's arrival, lacked an intellectual heavyweight with a public profile." The Rights Revolution, which contains Ignatieff's 2000 Tanner Lectures and contributions by others, continues the discussion on human rights.
Ignatieff's third novel, Charlie Johnson in the Flames, features a journalist who has covered wars going back to Vietnam. Charlie seldom sees his London-based family, but instead seeks war stories in far-off countries with his Czech photographer, Jacek. The two travel to Kosovo in the late 1980s, where Charlie is burned and the woman who gives them shelter killed by Serb soldiers when they douse her with gasoline and set her on fire. Charlie cannot rid himself of the image of the burning woman he held in his arms as she left this life, and so he travels Europe seeking revenge against the officer who ordered the crime. As Spectator contributor Carole Angier noted: "That is why Charlie Johnson is in the flames: not just the real flames, which burn him too as he tries to help her, but the moral and spiritual flames of commitment, which he has never allowed to touch him before. An Economist reviewer wrote that "the questions the novel raises—about the nature of evil and about the role of observer in violent conflict—are both serious and fascinating."
The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror was written as the U.S. war against terrorism was well under way. Ignatieff seeks a balance in trading civil liberties for greater security and concludes that such taking of rights should in all cases carry the approval of the judicial and legislative branches of government. Ignatieff, who supported the Iraq invasion, also contends that torture is inappropriate in all cases and that the enemy must be afforded human rights. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote: "This is an essential starting point for liberals and civil libertarians in grappling with the difficult moral and political challenges posed by the war on terror."
In Empire Lite: Nation-Building in Bosnia, Kosova, and Afghanistan Ignatieff studies U.S. multilateralism and light empire building. He uses the word "light" to indicate that this time of imperialism does not involve active colonization, nor the administration or policing of foreign lands; instead, it is undertaken to protect national interests. He uses the case studies of Bosnia, Kosova, and Afghanistan to make his points.
Ignatieff more recently edited American Exceptionalism and Human Rights, a volume whose contributors study how the United States fails to adopt the same human rights policies for itself that it prescribes for other nations. The book comes at a time when the United States continues to deny the validity of the International Crime Court, allegedly fails to treat its detainees with dignity, and increases surveillance of its own citizens. Mark P. Lagon wrote in Perspectives on Political Science that this volume "taps into an endemic question that affirms the importance of peculiar political cultures, indeed national characters, in shaping political outcomes." Ignatieff also coedited Making States Work: State Failure and the Crisis of Governance, a collection by contributors who study the importance of action by internal groups in reversing the failures of states.
In January 2006, Ignatieff was elected a Minister of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons, representing Etobicoke-Lakeshore in Ontario. Several months later he announced that he would seek leadership of the Liberal Party in the December 2006 elections, with the goal of retaking power from the Conservative Party, which had ended thirteen years of Liberal control. Ignatieff's position on the war in Iraq is unpopular with the majority of his party's members, however, and he has been criticized for his limited political experience and his close identity with the United States and time spent there and in England. Nevertheless, he remains a popular public figure among Canadians.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Novelists, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.
Ignatieff, Michael, Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (New York, NY), 1994.
Ignatieff, Michael, Isaiah Berlin: A Life, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1998.
Ignatieff, Michael, Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, edited by Amy Gutmann, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2001.
African Business, March, 1998, Jessie Banfield, review of The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience, p. 33.
American Enterprise, January-February, 2005, Henry Mark Holzer, review of The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror, p. 54.
American Prospect, June 17, 2002, Gara Lamarche, review of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, p. 36; September, 2004, James Mann, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 35.
Booklist, May 15, 2000, Gilbert Taylor, review of Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond, p. 1725; October 1, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames, p. 299; April 15, 2004, Bryce Christensen, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 1406.
Chicago Tribune, August 13, 1987, Howard A. Tyner, review of The Russian Album.
Commentary, August, 1994, Patrick Glynn, review of Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism, p. 42.
Commonweal, June 16, 2000, Daniel Terris, review of Virtual War, p. 25; September 8, 2000, Brian D. Phillips, review of Virtual War, p. 36.
Economist, March 14, 1998, review of The Warrior's Honor, p. S4; August 30, 2003, review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames, p. 61.
Entertainment Weekly, October, 17, 2003, Sarah Saffian, review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames, p. 86.
Ethics, January, 2003, Michael J. Green, review of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, p. 420; July, 2005, Re'Em Segev, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 821.
Ethics & International Affairs, April, 2002, David Petrasek, review of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, p. 153; October, 2005, Jedediah Purdy, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 115.
Europe, July, 2000, Michael D. Mosettig, review of Virtual War, p. 48.
First Things, January, 2002, review of The Rights Revolution, p. 70; March, 2005, James Turner Johnson, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 44.
Foreign Affairs, January-February, 1998, David Fromkin, review of The Warrior's Honor, p. 143; May-June, 2000, Ivo Banac, review of Virtual War, p. 152; January-February, 2006, G. John Ikenberry, review of Making States Work: State Failure and the Crisis of Governance, p. 146.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), August 31, 1985, Dennis Duffy, review of The Needs of Strangers; August 22, 1987, Dennis Duffy, review of The Russian Album.
Harvard Law Review, May, 2005, Martha Minow, review of The Lesser Evil, pp. 2134-2169; December, 2005, review of American Exceptionalism and Human Rights, p. 631.
Inroads, winter-spring, 2005, John Matthew Barlow, review of Empire Lite: Nation-Building in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, p. 137.
Joint Force Quarterly, spring, 2002, Kalev Sepp, review of Virtual War, p. 110.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2001, review of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, p. 1090; August 15, 2003, review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames, p. 1037.
Library Journal, May 1, 2000, James R. Holmes, review of Virtual War, p. 137; September 1, 2003, Heather McCormack, review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames, pp. 40, 208; May 15, 2004, Thomas A. Karel, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 101.
Nation, March 5, 2001, Erika Munk, review of The Warrior's Honor, p. 29; December 9, 2002, Ian Williams, review of The Rights Revolution, p. 25.
National Interest, fall, 2000, Andrew J. Bacevich, review of Virtual War, p. 94.
New Leader, December 14, 1998, Christopher Clausen, review of Isaiah Berlin: A Life, p. 9; May-June, 2004, John Patrick Diggins, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 30.
New Republic, March 16, 1998, David Rieff, review of The Warrior's Honor, p. 27; November 16, 1998, Ian Buruma, review of Isaiah Berlin, p. 32.
New Statesman, April 3, 2000, John Simpson, review of Virtual War, p. 53.
New York Review of Books, November 21, 1991, John Banville, review of Asya, p. 27.
New York Times, August 1, 1987, Walter Goodman, review of The Russian Album, p. 19.
New York Times Book Review, December 1, 1991, Muriel Spanier, review of Asya, p. 70; April 10, 1994, Francis Fukuyama, review of Blood and Belonging, p. 7.
Observer, May 16, 1993, Boyd Tonkin, review of Scar Tissue, p. 63.
Perspectives on Political Science, winter, 2005, William A. Douglas, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 59; winter, 2006, Mark P. Lagon, review of American Exceptionalism and Human Rights, p. 55.
Political Science Quarterly, winter, 2004, Jerome M. Slater, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 684.
Publishers Weekly, April 10, 2000, review of Virtual War, p. 84; August 27, 2001, review of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, p. 64; September 15, 2003, review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames, p. 44; April 19, 2004, review of The Lesser Evil, p. 57.
Spectator, December 8, 2001, Caroline Moorehead, review of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, p. 52; September 13, 2003, Carole Angier, review of Charlie Johnson in the Flames, p. 57.
Theoria, December, 2003, Roger Deacon, review of Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry, p. 126.
Tikkun, November-December, 1994, Gary Gerstle, review of Blood and Belonging, p. 68.
Time International, November 23, 1998, Alan Bullock, review of Isaiah Berlin, p. 88; May 15, 2000, Bruce Nelson, review of Virtual War, p. 54.
Times (London, England), December 6, 1985, David Robinson, review of Nineteen Nineteen.
Times Literary Supplement, April 16, 1993, Mark Wormald, review of Scar Tissue, p. 20.
Contemporary Writers,http://www.contemporarywriters.com/ (September 3, 2006), Daniel Hahn, biography of Michael Ignatieff.
Michael Ignatieff Home Page, http://www.michaelignatieff.ca (September 3, 2006).