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I felt like maybe it was supposed to be the There’s some valuable stuff in here, but it feels kind of muddled, since it’s such a mix between the intellectual history and the personal stuff.

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Nov 20, Jesse Field rated it really liked it. I especially enjoyed Blom’s skewering of Jean Jacq Denis Diderot was one of my heroes since reading “La Religieuse” “The Nun” in High School French class the novel depicts a convent which is presided over by a sadistic lesbian.

Ultimately, I wasn’t crazy about this. Ellul’s observation that when one rejects religion and God, one cannot help erecting another religion and god to take their place, is perfectly illustrated in this story.

Agree or disagree, it will leave you with much to contemplate after the fact. Holbach married and settled in Paris, holding his salons from to the late s. Holbach was born Paul Heinrich Dietrich, in the town of Edesheim in the Rhenish Palatinate inthe son of a wine-grower.

Or maybe just skip over the introduction. All brilliant minds, full of wit, courage, and insight, their thinking created a different and radical French Enlightenment based pholipp atheism, passion, reason, and truly humanist thinking. Indiana University Press,p.


Gente peligrosa: El radicalismo olvidado de la IlustraciĆ³n europea – Philipp Blom – Google Books

To ask other readers questions about A Wicked Companyplease sign up. Even today, this vision has lost none of its persuasiveness and appeal. It became more prevalent in liberal circles following the Russian Revolution when Rousseau was seen as an inspiration for Bolshevism.

The author interweaves biographical snippets of various “radical” Enlightenment figures, primarily Diderot and Holbach, with broad brush, painless descriptions of their philosophies.

I had never heard of Holbach, who held the influential salons attended by Diderot and company. Really enjoyed this book, the author does protest too much genfe Rousseau, but still a great read. It starts slowly but fully held my interest to the end.

Philipp Blom

A terrific read, erudite and witty, this packs an impressive amount of information, much of it quite abstract, into a fast-moving and absorbing narrative. Admittedly, this is not meant to be the central topic of the book.

In a godless universe, some Enlightenment philosophers, in the search for a better future for humanity, adopted Reason as the only relevant player in a kind of supreme rationalist utopia; but at the same time replicated the Christian disdain for human passions, instincts, or the yearning for beauty which were all irrational impulses after all.

Perhaps to this day the most influential and popular philosopher he is all for individualism and naturalism, a belief in the natural innocence of children and important in his suggestions of training and education of the developing individual in society.

Characterising him as a dictator solely responsible for the Terror is unsatisfactorily simplistic. We may never go back; perhaps these wonderful men and women may have helped imprint the notions of human rights irrevocably deep into our DNA–we can only hope; for those who would rather: I get the sense that the links between the Enlightenment and the Revolution are complex and ambivalent, probably not ideally suited to a short summary chapter such as this.


To Have and to Hold: Not only are the lives and ideas of the current characters discussed in context, but Blom also takes the time to discuss those people that influenced their thought, some of which I only now realized I had not fully fleshed out before.

A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment

Rousseau, in particular, is painted as one major-league gsnte. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. I appreciate how this new look at the Englightenment compares to the radicals of thought in our current day and age, especially men such as Christopher Hittchens and Richard Dawkins. That alone would qualify him as a revolutionary thinker. A non-fiction history book about the shocking radicalism and atheism of the Enlightenment Era.

Apr 07, Paul Heidebrecht rated it really liked it. Aug 26, Gert de Cooman rated it it was amazing. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Soms heb je nlom gevoel een goede roman te lezen.