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Enlightened Despots is a bit of an oxymoron but compared with the monarchs that ruled before they were much more of the time and had a humanity about them that previous monarchs and leaders had not. They were still however despotic leaders.
What comes out is that they tried and tried hard - they read the relevant texts by Voltaire etc and were true in their belief of a fair go but they were also determined to hold onto their inherited throwns and empires come what may.
The clashes were monumental and very interesting when broken down. It is worth listening to. The world was a better place after their reigns - but they could have been even better but holding on to what they knew meant that they didn't go that step too far. How different European history could have been.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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The subject is fascinating and worth exploring. The modern world is a continuing echo of the Enlightenment, and the despotic leaders profiled in this book are of no small importance to any student of history. That said, the writing style is overwrought and too clever by half. The narrator's performance is a bizarre attempt at goofball entertainment, with a cheeseball "voice of God" reverb used in place of quotes. The overall effect is embarrassing.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Its a great listen, really kept my interest all the way through, and it was great to get a light approach to what might have been a 'heavy' subject. Its informative on history and philosophy. The narrator might sound a bit serious, but is clear and lilting.
The content of this book was very interesting, but unfortunately the way it was read just sent me to sleep so I never got the full benefits of the facts.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful