Roy Porter has written an interesting and informative book. Although relatively short, (sixty-nine pages of text) this is not a simplistic account. It provides a critical appraisal of both the enlightenment and of previous historical analyses of this period. Porter outlines the issues and ambiguities of the enlightenmt, as well as differences between elightenment thinkers, countries and developments over time.
There are chapters on what is meant by enlightenmnet, the goal of enlightenment, religion, politics, who was involved in the enlightenment, and enlightenment and the wider cultural context. Overall, Porter gives a sympathetic account.
My knowlege of history is scant, and I read this book because I wanted to know what the enlightenmnet was. 'The Enlightenment' goes some way to answering this question, but I did find it required much concentration and effort. It may be that people with a some background in history would get more out of this book, but i did find it rewarding of the effort.
Well, there's not really all that much to write about this book. It kind of says it all in the title. What I have found is that it presents the topic in a perfectly understandable way, doesn't over-confuse things and is a perfect companion to studies of the Enlightenment. It's not the most detailed of books ever, but it's not claiming to be. But for an overview of the topic, does what it says on the tin.