Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment First Edition Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
In 1766, Scottish philosopher David Hume helped the radical Swiss intellectual Jean-Jacques Rousseau find asylum in England; a few months later, the volatile philosopher accused his benefactor of masterminding a murky conspiracy against him and triggered a virulent response. The argument had nothing to do with philosophy (or Rousseau's dog), but, as in their well-received Wittgenstein's Poker, the authors use the dispute as a pretext for an engaging rundown of the two thinkers' great ideas—with a big swig of human interest to wash down the philosophical morsels. Their (sometimes excessively) detailed, meandering account of the feud points to something larger: the contrast between the affable, urbane rationalist Hume and the moody, paranoid, emotionally overwrought Rousseau prefigures, they believe, the shift from the Enlightenment cult of reason to the Romantic cult of feeling. The authors widen their vivid portraits of the antagonists into a panorama of the cross-Channel intellectual community that refereed the squabble, taking in the ancien régime salons and their brilliant hostesses and the London and Paris streets where visiting philosophers were mobbed like rock stars. The result is an absorbing cultural history of the republic of letters in its exuberant youth. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“A detailed and fascinating reexamination of this story by David Edmonds and John Eidinow.” (New York Review of Books)
“Sprightly and accessible . . . David Edmonds and John Eidinow have heightened intellectual feuds beyond the shallows of anecdote.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“As we’ve come to expect from Edmunds and Eidinow, their analysis of the personalities in question is sharp and engaging.” (Los Angeles Times)
“An enthralling account of a trifling provocation inflated to epic proportions.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Having read Wittgenstein's Poker, however, this lacked passion and analysis in comparison. That doesn't mean it's a bad book at all, just not as good. And if you like history or biography and especially that about philosophers, this is very worthwhile.
The main reason I got the book was because I had already read Wittgenstein's Poker by the same authors, which I liked very much, and I trusted the reputation of these authors. Boy, was I in for a disappointment.
The book is really about nothing, to put it succinctly. I read about 60% of it, and it is only at halfway through the book that the authors finally begin to discuss briefly Hume's and Rousseau's respective philosophies. The rest of the book is a meandering tale about these two philosophers' interactions (which had nothing to do with philosophy) and their personal and petty disputes. Frankly, without even looking at the sources, one could surmise that at least some of it is based on rumors. In fact, most of the book reads like a long tabloid newspaper article; a rumor mill, in other words.
Additionally, the writing itself is not very good. It is not fluid; the authors constantly drop new names, most of which become irrelevant just pages later. To be sure, it's organized more or less chronologically, but it is often difficult to follow and understand, as it lacks a coherent structure to the narrative.
Most importantly, the book's topic if of no historical significance.
My suggestion is: don't waste your time reading this. You won't learn anything interesting and you will only be frustrated.
This is the definition of popular history; don't expect a masterpiece but it is a delightful read.
Most recent customer reviews
Lord, will the madness never stop? Now this!Rousseaus Dog Great Thinkers Enlightenment
Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of EnlightenmentRead more
Edmonds and Eidenow don't make that claim, any blurbs aside.Read more