A Revolution of the Mind

  • by Jonathan Israel
  • Narrated by James Adams
  • 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"We are lucky that a historian of Israel's caliber has taken these subjects on and lucky, too, that he has now produced a readable introduction to them." (Harper's magazine)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Brilliant. A correction to many of the distorted ideas you probably picked up in school and university and an introduction to more exciting ideas that you should have been exposed to but were not. All deftly supported with a basis of solid fact . And written in an elegant and enjoyable style. The reading performance is also first rate.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-29-2010
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks