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A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (Unabridged), by Jonathan Israel
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (50 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Israel Narrator: James Adams Publisher: University Press Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Democracy, free thought and expression, religious tolerance, individual liberty, political self-determination of peoples, sexual and racial equality - these values have firmly entered the mainstream in the decades since they were enshrined in the 1948 U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. But if these ideals no longer seem radical today, their origin was very radical indeed - far more so than most historians have been willing to recognize.

In A Revolution of the Mind, Jonathan Israel, one of the world's leading historians of the Enlightenment, traces the philosophical roots of these ideas to what were the least respectable strata of Enlightenment thought - what he calls the Radical Enlightenment. During the revolutionary decades of the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s, the Radical Enlightenment burst into the open, only to provoke a long and bitter backlash. A Revolution of the Mind shows that this vigorous opposition was mainly due to the powerful impulses in society to defend the principles of monarchy, aristocracy, empire, and racial hierarchy - principles linked to the upholding of censorship, church authority, social inequality, racial segregation, religious discrimination, and far-reaching privilage for ruling groups.

In telling this fascinating history, A Revolution of the Mind reveals the surprising origin of our most cherished values - and helps explain why in certain circles they are frequently disapproved of and attacked even today. The book is published by Princeton University Press.

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Listener Reviews

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Review by Dustin | 2/12/2011

    " good discussion of intellectual history... he puts the philosophes into dialogue with each other very well; however, his main thesis that there were two distinct enlightenments ("Radical" and "Moderate") can be refuted. cf. Dan Edelstein, The Enlightenment: A Genealogy. "

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