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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fools and bairns should never see half-done work
My review title was chosen to reflect the fact that I have not finished reading this book yet. But,foolishly, perhaps, I shall go on.

Having studied the Enlightenment many, many years ago as part of my A level History course, and having read some French "philosophes" at university, I have the advantage of already being aware of much of the background, but in a...
Published 21 months ago by Music addict

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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dry in places but well organised - a ...
A bit dry in places but well organised - a lot of information in a short work. On the whole this is a decent introduction to a big subject which lacks only a little liveliness in the telling.
Published 1 month ago by Graqham Butler


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fools and bairns should never see half-done work, 24 Dec 2012
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My review title was chosen to reflect the fact that I have not finished reading this book yet. But,foolishly, perhaps, I shall go on.

Having studied the Enlightenment many, many years ago as part of my A level History course, and having read some French "philosophes" at university, I have the advantage of already being aware of much of the background, but in a very hazy way after all these years. I am enjoying reading this book very much. The writer succeeds in conveying some quite involved philosophical ideas interestingly and clearly 95% of the time, although a very few obvious "printing" errors in the Kindle version are an annoyance, and sometimes the writer's own familiarity with the ideas leaves him unaware of ambiguities of interpretation in his sentences. But these are carping criticisms.

It is not always an easy book because of the subject-matter. Some chapters are more densely packed with difficult ideas than others: the fine distinctions between the ideas of the main philosophers of the period require prolonged concentration, but are clear as you read them, if less easy to remember later. Other chapters are much less demanding.

I confess that I expected a much more superficial overview of the Enlightenment from a "Beginner's Guide", but I suspect that for many this coverage of the period would be more than enough to satisfy their interest. The writer demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an over-arching term which refers to different sets of ideas in different places and at different times in the 18th century, and he demonstrates how those ideas had influence on political events like the American and French revolutions.

This is a fascinating period of history and philosophical thought and I am delighted with this thought-provoking book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dry in places but well organised - a ..., 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Enlightenment: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) (Paperback)
A bit dry in places but well organised - a lot of information in a short work. On the whole this is a decent introduction to a big subject which lacks only a little liveliness in the telling.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best treatment of the subject that I've read, 1 Jan 2014
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Mr. J. Ballard "Jazz Lover" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I preferred 'The Enlightenment: And Why it Still Matters' until Anthony Pagden's endless circumlocutions proved too painful to continue - throwing one's Kindle across the room can prove self-defeating. I'v just started 'A Revolution of the Mind' by Jonathan Israel hoping for something more definitive.
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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic service, fantastic product, 16 May 2011
This review is from: The Enlightenment: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) (Paperback)
The postage was faster than expected and the book is perfect for what I need it for as it is a beginners guide.
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The Enlightenment: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
The Enlightenment: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) by Kieron O'Hara (Paperback - 1 Feb 2010)
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