FIRE AND LIGHT: HOW THE ENLIGHTENMENT TRANSFORMED OUR WORLD by James MacGregor Burns
Fire and Light: How the Enlightenment Transformed Our World by James MacGregor Burns
In this engaging, provocative history, James MacGregor Burns brilliantly illuminates the two-hundred-year conflagration of the Enlightenment, when audacious questions and astonishing ideas tore across Europe and the New World, transforming thought, overturning governments, and inspiring visionary political experiments. FIRE AND LIGHT brings to vivid life the galaxy of revolutionary leaders of thought and action who, armed with a new sense of human possibility and driven by a hunger for change, created the modern world. Burns discovers the origins of a distinctive American Enlightenment in men like Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and their early encounters with incendiary European ideas about liberty and equality. It was these thinker-activists who framed the United States as a grand and continuing experiment in Enlightenment principles.
Today the same questions that Enlightenment thinkers grappled with have taken on new urgency around the world: in the turmoil of the Arab Spring, in the former Soviet Union, and in China, as well as in the United States itself. What should a nation be? What should citizens expect from their government? Who should lead, and how can leadership be mad both effective and accountable? What is happiness, and what can the state contribute to it? Burns's exploration of the ideas and arguments that formed the bedrock of our modern world shines a new light on these ever-important questions.
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 1st Edition, 1st Printing, 2013
This is a BRAND NEW book.