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Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750-1790 Hardcover – September 25, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1066 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1ST edition (September 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019954820X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199548200
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 2.4 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Review from previous edition: "Brilliantly presented and dense with learning." --Simon Blackburn, THES

"An enormously impressive piece of scholarship. The breadth and depth of the author's reading are breathtaking and Enlightenment Contested is set to become the definitive work for philosophers as well as historians on this extraordinary period." --Keith Richmond, Tribune

"Mr Israel's groundbreaking interpretation looks set to establish itself as the one to beat." --The Economist

"Evocative and compelling." --John Dunn, Literary Review

"Enlightenment Contested is full of wonderful things" --John Dunn, Literary Review

About the Author


Jonathan Israel is Professor of Modern History at the Institute for Advance Study, Princeton. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and corresponding fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. His previous books include The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness and Fall, 1477-1806, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750, and Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670-1752.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750 -- 1790" is the final volume of a massive trilogy of intellectual history discussing the nature and impact of the Enlightenment. The author, Jonathan Israel, finds that the Enlightenment began in approximately 1680 and concluded by about 1800, after which it was followed by a lengthy period of reaction. The two earlier volumes in the trilogy are "Radical Enlightenment" which deals primarily with Spinoza as the key Enlightenment figure,Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750 and "Enlightenment Contested" Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670-1752. I have read and reviewed the first book here on Amazon but have not yet read the second. Jonathan Israel is Professor of Modern European History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Israel describes the Enlightenment as "the single most important topic, internationally in modern historical studies, and one of crucial significance also in our politics, cultural studies and philosophy". (p. 1) His books go far to validate that strong claim. This book is not for the casual reader. It consists of 950 pages of dense and difficult text covering both ideas and history. It demands close, slow reading. I had to pause many times after reading only a small number of pages to reflect upon what I had just read. The writing style is lively, passionate, and informed but not especially graceful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JUMBIE on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Introduction ( 33 of 1066 pages ) sets the arc of research and analysis of the entire trilogy on the Philosophical Enlightenment and its impact on history and our contemporary politics. Israel's studies have the scope of l'encyclopedie of Diderot ( which itself is analyzed ). I recommend this adventure to those of you would entertain ideas on human rights and freedom and to those of you who wish to delve the Ideas and the Ideals of the French Revolution and its antecedent - the American Revolution. Is there a Divine order - or is Nature alone our guide? Is that distinction at the core of the meaning of the Enlightenment?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Jackson on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Jonathan Israel's Enlightenment trilogy. While a lot of it is over my head (all those names!) the exegesis of "philosophy" in the 18th century is fascinating. Why only four stars? I thought the last quarter of the book was not well planned, the chapters jump around from subject to subject in an unorganized way. But that's my only grouse.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vernon Ward on February 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Jonathan Israel as a writer. He is prolific and his vocabulary is extensive. He is a professor at an ivy league university and is a very eloquent in his writing. I had to look up a word approximately every third page. THAT is what i love about his use of words. Most of the vocabulary that Professor Israel uses was actually invented or brought into use through translation at the very years he was writing about . . . astonishing.!!! I recommend reading all his books to establish an equitable speak on perceptions and values of authors on this subject. I enjoy how professor Israel shows how the middle class came into existence and became the greatest class of all time. Enlightenment had many entrances but the concept of free market needed a matrix that could be fair for all and for all time. Glory to God 2 timothy 1:7
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