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This panoramic book tells the story of how revolutionary ideas from the Enlightenment about freedom, equality, evolution, and democracy have reverberated by way of fashionable historic previous and shaped the world as everyone knows it instantly.
A testament to the enduring power of ideas, The Shape of the New provides unforgettable portraits of Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx—heirs of the Enlightenment who embodied its highest beliefs about progress—and reveals how their concepts, over time and in the palms of their followers and opponents, reworked the very nature of our beliefs, institutions, economies, and politics. However these ideas moreover keep contradictions. They have been utilized in the service of brutal methods reminiscent of slavery and colonialism, been appropriated and twisted by monsters like Stalin and Hitler, and provoked reactions in the direction of the Enlightenment’s legacy by Islamic Salafists and the Christian Religious Correct.
The Shape of the New argues that it is unattainable to know the ideological and political conflicts of our private time with out familiarizing ourselves with the historic previous and inside tensions of these world-altering ideas. With passion and conviction, it exhorts us to acknowledge the central significance of these ideas as historic forces and pillars of the Western humanistic customized. It makes the case that to study the works of the good thinkers is to understand invaluable insights into the ideas which have shaped how we anticipate and what we think about.
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