Enemies of the Enlightenment

Enemies of the Enlightenment : The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity

3.87 (39 ratings by Goodreads)
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Critics have long treated the most important intellectual movement of modern history-the Enlightenment-as if it took shape in the absence of opposition. In this groundbreaking new study, Darrin McMahon demonstrates that, on the contrary, contemporary resistance to the Enlightenment was a major cultural force, shaping and defining the Enlightenment itself from the moment of inception, while giving rise to an entirely new ideological phenomenon-what we have come to think of as the "Right." McMahon skillfully examines the Counter-Enlightenment, showing that it was an extensive, international, and thoroughly modern affair.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 18mm | 421.84g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • numerous halftones
  • 0195158938
  • 9780195158939
  • 572,791

Review quote

"This well-researched and beautifully written study applies insights of recent Enlightenment historiography to the heretofore neglected area of the anti-philosophes." -Choice "[I]n this sophisticated deconstruction of conservative opposition to the Enlightenment, McMahon...reenvisions intellectual history from 1750 to 1830 as an ideological dialectic foreshadowing the culture wars of our own time and helping to define modernity."-Publishers Weekly "A well-written study...of an early culture war that will not be unfamiliar to us today - a war of mutual simplification and caricature spiraling downward into suspicion and hate....Presents a useful genealogy of a brand of conservatism that remained influential through the mid-20th century, and, more pressingly, a rough template for a host of counter-Enlightenment ideas that are with us still today, from Cambridge to Kabul."-Wall Street Journal
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Rating details

39 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 23% (9)
4 49% (19)
3 21% (8)
2 8% (3)
1 0% (0)
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