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This was one of my favorite Great Courses. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. My only real exposure to Voltaire before this was reading Candide in high school. The professor has such passion for the topic, and manages to pass it on to the listener. I felt I learned so much about not just Voltaire but the times he lived in, especially about the forces in French society that led to the revolution, and the figures of the Enlightenment that continue to impact us today.
I thought Prof. Kors was one of the best professors in the Great Courses series -- I always looked forward to listening to him.
I also thought this one was perfect on audio. I never had any confusion because this wasn’t in video form. And I find I make much more progress on Great Courses that are in audio since I’m not tethered to the TV. That said, anyone new to the Great Courses should realize that they sound like a professor lecturing (which is what it is) and not like a narrator reading an audiobook. I actually find that more engaging, but I realize some listeners prefer a smooth narration, rather than someone lecturing from a podium.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment the most enjoyable?
The passion of the professor.
What other book might you compare Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment to and why?
Anthony Padgen The Enlightenment and Why it Still Matters
Have you listened to any of Professor Alan Charles Kors’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No. But, I know his politics are different than mine but, he skillfully kept his libertarian/conservatism from the lectures.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The parade in France for Voltaire near the end of his life.
Any additional comments?
Does history offer an intellectual peer for Voltaire? His prodigious writing was not something I was aware of before these lectures. 8 million words boggles the mind.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Always wanted to have an understanding of the Enlightenment and Voltaire- this course doesn't disappoint! 5 Stars
Where does Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Just amazing. Brilliantly lucid lectures on Voltaire. Loved this so much, passionately dictated bar the author's misguided understanding of Voltaire and tolerance. Highly recommended.