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Enlightening the World: Encyclopdie, the…

Enlightening the World: Encyclopdie, the Book That Changed the Course of… (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Philipp Blom (Author)

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1543116,465 (4)7
Title:Enlightening the World: Encyclopdie, the Book That Changed the Course of History
Authors:Philipp Blom (Author)
Info:Palgrave Macmillan (2005), 288 pages

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Enlightening the World: Encyclopedie, The Book That Changed the Course of History by Philipp Blom (2004)



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Philipp Blom is a talented writer. His history of the Encyclopedie -- really, more a group biography of Denis Diderot and the other key figures who wrote and published it -- brings immediate pleasure as well as a nuanced understanding of how, in its historical context, the work was so important. There's clearly a sea of research underpinning this book, but it is presented fluidly, so that the details buoy rather than sink the story. I finished wishing to know more about several of the leading figures and to read their works -- especially Friedrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm, and his lover Louise d'Epinay, each accomplished thinkers and writers in their own rights. ( )
  bezoar44 | Mar 29, 2009 |
Philipp Blom is a delightful writer and this is a fascinating and highly entertaining history of the great French Encyclopedie which took about 25 years to write in the mid-1700s. Despite the title, this is really a book about people, with the encyclopedie as thread to tie the stories together. I have very little background in 18th C European/French history Blom makes it entirely accessible for novice and expert alike (although I suspect many of the stories here are well worn, but new to me, and well told). Probably the greatest compliment is I want to learn more about those involved, probably starting with a biography of Rousseau. This book easily sits besides Simon Winchester's "The Meaning of Everything" and Henry Hitchings "Defining the World". As another reviewer mentioned, anyone with an interest in Wikipedia will find it fascinating. ( )
  Stbalbach | Dec 16, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philipp Blomprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bischoff, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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