FREE Returns
Return this item for free
  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
  • Learn more about free returns.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way)
As an alternative, the Kindle eBook is available now and can be read on any device with the free Kindle app. Want to listen? Try Audible.
$$35.00 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from
Sold by
Ships from
Sold by
Return policy: Returnable until Jan 31, 2023
For the 2022 holiday season, returnable items purchased between October 11 and December 25, 2022 can be returned until January 31, 2023.
Power, Pleasure, and Prof... has been added to your Cart
$3.99 delivery December 2 - 9. Details
Used: Good | Details
Sold by gwspokanebooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Condition Good: Comment: Book is used and in good condition with some wear from use. This may include stickers on cover, wear to dustcover/missing dustcover, inside cover, spine, some highlighting or writing in book, slight curled corners, stains, and wear to the fore edge. All orders ship via UPS Mail Innovations. Thank you for shopping with Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest – changing lives through the cycle for good. The dust jacket shows little wear.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell?
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Sold by: SuperBookDeals-
Sold by: SuperBookDeals-
(351118 ratings)
87% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 3 to 4 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: Book Depository US
Sold by: Book Depository US
(945371 ratings)
91% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 2 to 3 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: InfiniteBooks_USA
Sold by: InfiniteBooks_USA
(6633 ratings)
87% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 2 to 3 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

Power, Pleasure, and Profit: Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison Hardcover – October 8, 2018

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

New from Used from
$29.38 $5.38

Enhance your purchase

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now

Frequently bought together

  • Power, Pleasure, and Profit: Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison
  • +
  • Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication)
  • +
  • The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America (Early American Studie
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your cart.
Some of these items ship sooner than the others.
Choose items to buy together.

Editorial Reviews


“Explains how European thought came to abandon the old virtues and accept the ‘selfish system’ of utility…Wootton explicates complex social and political theories with admirable lucidity.”Jeffrey Collins, Wall Street Journal

“More relevant to our current political and cultural circumstance than any other I’ve read in the last four years…Truly wonderful.”
Lewis Lapham, The World in Time

“Wootton presents the conceptual shift that gave birth to our life today in a book that is ambitious and impressive in its sweep…A gripping story of how ideas can change the world.”
John Gray, New Statesman

“Wootton does not wish to take sides in the controversy between detractors and defenders of the Enlightenment: his purpose is rather to retrace the emergence of the intellectual and cultural revolution that radically transformed modern Western societies…
Power, Pleasure, and Profit is an erudite book, full of learned asides.”Times Literary Supplement

“This is decidedly not a traditional history of the Enlightenment as a philosophical or political project…Wootton’s Enlightenment ushered in a moral universe of unstoppable excess―one in which the pursuit of power, pleasure, and profit had no limit, for individuals or for societies…An unusual but fascinating foray into all the great themes of moral and political philosophy, from happiness to politics to commerce to love.”
James Chappel, Commonweal

“His erudition is impressive and his range of inquiry is vast… Wootton traces the development of three interrelated notions that together, in his view, displaced the moral and religious inheritance bequeathed by classicism and Christianity.”
Darrin M. McMahon, Literary Review

“Gripping…A fascinating story…The Enlightenment spawned a series of assumptions about what human beings are, why they do what they do, and what the good life looks like. We’re still hostage to those assumptions, whether we know it or not, and Wootton’s book asks us to consider the consequences.”
Sean Illing, Vox

“In the brilliant, penetrating and amazingly erudite study by David Wootton…readers are treated to an engaging tour of the ‘Enlightenment paradigm’ gaining in the process a more profound understanding of our modern political economy and ethical situation…This book is essential reading for understanding the climate in which we still live and which is exported worldwide through neoliberalism and globalization.”
David Lorimer, Wall Street International

“A work of exceptional merit. Wootton is one of the best intellectual historians in the Anglo-American world today.”
Steven Smith, Yale University

“In this deliciously written, stunningly erudite, and enchantingly combative book, one of our most free-spirited and original intellectual historians has helped us see the roots of the Enlightenment and thus our contemporary world with entirely new eyes.”
Stephen Holmes, New York University

“Full of spirited engagement, Wootton’s writing exemplifies iconoclasm, imagination, and verve.”
Christopher Brooke, University of Cambridge

“Wootton’s notion of modest, practical Aristoteilian-esque virtue in the face of limitless appetite is a compelling one, and he stakes his claims methodically and persuasively.”
Nicholas Cannariato, The Millions

“Through the writings of great thinkers, Wootton describes the birth of a new concept of human nature during the years 1500 to 1800… Wootton demonstrates a consistent ability to make complex intellectual ideas approachable… A surprisingly lucid examination of a dramatic revolution in human thought.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Valuable as a wide-ranging…investigation into the philosophical revolution that made the modern Western world.”
American Conservative

“Erudite…Raises a number of timely ethical and historical questions for a world where the limitless pursuit of power and pleasure appears increasingly unsustainable.”
Anton M. Matytsin, Journal of Modern History

“Engaging…The idea that we are driven by our remorseless quest for power, pleasure, and profit, Wootton argues, has come to dominate Western conceptions of politics and economics since the time of Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Adam Smith, and has largely replaced previously important theories of Christian morality and Aristotelian ethics…A pleasure to read.”
K. Steven Vincent, European Legacy

About the Author

David Wootton is Anniversary Professor of History at the University of York. His books include The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution; Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm since Hippocrates; and Paolo Sarpi: Between Renaissance and Enlightenment.
Limited-Time Offer
Join Audible Premium Plus for 60% off. Get this deal

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press; 1st Edition (October 8, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0674976673
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0674976672
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.6 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

About the author

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

David Wootton is the author of Power, Pleasure, and Profit; of The Invention of Science; of Galileo: Watcher of the Skies; and of Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm Since Hippocrates. You can learn more about him at

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
19 global ratings
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 12, 2017
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 16, 2017
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 13, 2019
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 27, 2017
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 13, 2017
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 13, 2017
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 23, 2017
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 9, 2017

Top reviews from other countries

Arthur John
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable Exploration of the Emergence of Ideas
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 31, 2019
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse