“John Fleming has written a fascinating, compulsively readable account of the shadowy world that lay just beyond the clear, clean, well-ordered boundaries of the Age of Reason. His protagonists, vividly brought to life, are a motley collection of miracle workers, charlatans, confidence men, and half-crazed visionaries, caught up in a frenzied pursuit of occult truths, secret powers, and illicit pleasures. Never has the Enlightenment seemed stranger.” (Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve)
“Fleming’s book is about two cultural commonplaces, the so-called darkness of the Middle Ages and the reputed brightness of the later age that called them dark. In nine greatly informative and entertaining chapters, Fleming turns the tables by showing that the enlightenment had a dark side that was an integral part of it. Hence, its dark side must be understood as co-Enlightenment, not as what is often called the Counter-Enlightenment. This, in a deep sense, is an important book in the cultural study of history.” (Hans Aarsleff, author of From Locke to Saussure)
“This is a book that sparkles with wit and learning and mischief. In place of a pale age of reason, John Fleming guides us through the witching hour of the Enlightenment, a time haunted by visions of magic, mystery, and the occult—enchanted and enchanting.” (Lawrence Lipking, Chester D. Tripp Professor of Humanities, Northwestern University)
About the Author
John V. Fleming, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, taught humanistic studies at Princeton University for forty years. He is the author of The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.