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Three Deaths and Enlightenment Thought: Hume, Johnson, Marat Hardcover – August, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Miller has published widely on eighteenth-century intellectual history. His articles on Adam Smith, David Hume, Edmund Burke, Joseph Addison, Samuel Johnson, and Edward Gibbon have appeared in a number of journals, including Sewanee Review, Partisan Review, and the Times Literary Supplement. He has also written two books and many articles on a variety of subjects -from American intellectual history to modern French thought. An independent scholar who is a Contributing Editor to the Wilson Quarterly, he has taught at Rutgers University and Beaver College. He has also been a Program Director for the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Bucknell Univ Pr (August 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0838754813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0838754818
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,506,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the author of six books, including Conversation: A History of a Declining Art. My latest book is Walking New York: Reflections of American Writers from Walt Whitman to Teju Cole. It was listed by the New York Observer as one of ten most notable books published in the fall of 2014. My essays have appeared in many magazines in the U.S. and Britain, including Partisan Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Sewanee Review, and the New Criterion.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. Nagy on December 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In recent years there has been an extended debate about Enlightenment thought. Though many scholars have concluded that there were several "Enlightenments," some continue to make generalizations about the Enlightenment and some speak about "the Enlightenment agenda." After discussing the cult of the deathbed scene in eighteenth?century Britain and France, the author looks at three currents of Enlightenment thought implicit in the deathbed "projects" of David Hume, Samuel Johnson, and Jean Paul Marat. Although Hume and Johnson hold profoundly different views of religion, their political thinking has much in common. Their reformist thought differs radically from what might be called the transformist thought of Marat, who hoped the French would become disinterested citizens whose civil religion was patriotism.
The book also looks at the response of James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon to the deathbed projects of Hume and Johnson, and it discusses how their political thought differs from Johnson's and Hume's. It also considers the complex relations between reformist and transformist thought in Britain during the last three decades of the century, showing how the views of the two reformist groups and of such transformist writers as Richard Price, Joseph Priestley, and Thomas Paine were affected by a number of political events, from the Wilkes crisis to the French Revolution. Though the book focuses on AngloScottish Enlightenment thought, it often refers to the French Enlightenment, and the chapter on Marat looks at the connection between transformist thought in Britain and France.
The author argues that Enlightenment thought was more varied and?in its reformist currents?less hostile to tradition than many observers have allowed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sanford Kaiser on August 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Though The Title is a bit stodgy, the read is excellent. It is filled with precise history ,concise observation, and thoughtful analysis.The subject of the "heroic" deathbed scene,on canvas,on stage,in poetry and literature is both enthralling and thought provoking. The treatment of the Age of Enlightenment, when viewed through the prism of the deaths/ deathbed scenes of Hume , Johnson and Marat, is wonderful. Brain Candy!
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