Margaret Jacob: Radical Enlightenment
8 November 2012
Show More A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy by Jonathan Israel.
Princeton, 276 pp., £13.95, September 2011, 978 0 691 15260 8Show More
“... Once primarily interested in economic history, Jonathan Israel has more recently turned his attention to the intellectual roots of Western modernity in the 18th-century Enlightenment. In the 1980s, critics on the left would have told him not to bother. During that decade the Enlightenment became a prime target in the American culture wars. Postmodernists found it masculine, universalist and Eurocentric; fiscal conservatives read its texts selectively, finding value in Locke on government, or praising the free market philosophy of Adam Smith ...”