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A selection of six of Nietzsche's writings. This book is a must-read for any student of philosophy and provides and a comprehensive overview of the work of on the most influential philosophers of the nineteenth century.
The eighteenth-century Enlightenment marks the beginning of the modern age, when the scientific method and belief in reason and progress came to hold sway over the Western world. In the twentieth century, however, the Enlightenment has often been judged harshly for its apparently simplistic optimism. Now a master historian goes back to the sources to give a fully rounded account of its true accomplishments.
Mr. Gay characterizes "The Recovery of Nerve" 18th century change of life to a safer more predictable lifestyle. In this book which is a social history of the Enlightenment, he describes the philosphes' environment, their view of progress, of science, of art, of society, and of politics.
Mozart's short life (only 35 years) were astoundingly productive. This book tells the story of his life, and provides useful information about his major compositions and associations. There are more comprehensive biographies of Mozart, but this one is not a difficult book to read and will provide enough information to augment the experience of listening to his amazing music.
In this poignant book, a renowned historian tells of his youth as an assimilated, anti-religious Jew in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939-"the story," says Peter Gay, "of a poisoning and how I dealt with it." With his customary eloquence and analytic acumen, Gay describes his family, the life they led, and the reasons they did not emigrate sooner, and he explores his own ambivalent feelings-then and now-toward Germany and the Germans. Gay relates that the early years of the Nazi regime were relatively benign for his family: as a schoolboy at the Goethe Gymnasium he experienced no ridicule or attacks, his father's business prospered, and most of the family's non-Jewish friends remained supportive. He devised survival strategies-stamp collecting, watching soccer, and the like-that served as screens to block out the increasingly oppressive world around him. Even before the events of 1938-39, culminating in Kristallnacht, the family was convinced that they must leave the country. Gay describes the bravery and ingenuity of his father in working out this difficult emigration process, the courage of the non-Jewish friends who helped his family during their last bitter months in Germany, and the family's mounting panic as they witnessed the indifference of other countries to their plight and that of others like themselves. Gay's account-marked by candor, modesty, and insight-adds an important and curiously neglected perspective to the history of German Jewry.
THE ENLIGHTENMENT has long been the victim of uninformed or hostile criticisms. Even so respected a source as the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines the Enlightenment as "shallow and pretentious intellectualism, unreasonable contempt for authority and tradition," thus collecting in one sentence most of our current prejudices. In this provocative book--at once a scholarly study and a vigorous polemic--Peter Gay sets out to shatter old myths, to sort out illusion from reality, and to restore the men of the Enlightenment--Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot--to the esteem they deserve. The nine related essays in The Party of Humanity fall into three divisions: three are on Voltaire, presenting the great philosopher as a tough-minded, realistic man of letters who tried to reshape his world, rather than as merely brittle and shallow wit. Then, three essays characterize the French Enlightenment as a whole, and seek for the unity underlying the diversity of tempers and attitudes among its leaders. The last three, which include Mr. Gay's well-known critique of Carl Becker's The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers, are polemics against widely accepted views of the Enlightenment. The longest chapter here is a detailed examination of Rousseau, the philosopher, and of his reputation among his interpreters. What all nine essays have in common, apart from their portrayal of the philosophers as serious and engage partisans of humanity, is that they are all essays in the "social history of ideas"; they all treat ideas as inseparable from the specific social and cultural setting from which they emerge and which they affect.
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