|About the Book|
In 1777, a group of young men produced a book that aimed to tear the world apart and rebuild it, sparking a movement that became known as the Enlightenment. This book - the Encyclopedie - championed rationalism, free thinking, and secularism, andMoreIn 1777, a group of young men produced a book that aimed to tear the world apart and rebuild it, sparking a movement that became known as the Enlightenment. This book - the Encyclopedie - championed rationalism, free thinking, and secularism, and was so dangerous and subversive that it was banned by the Pope. The writers included some of the greatest minds of the age - Denis Diderot, the editor who had come to Paris to become a Jesuit but found the joys of the city too enticing- Jean dAlembert, one of the leading mathematicians of the eighteenth century- Jean Jacques Rousseau, the father of Romanticism- and Voltaire, the author of Candide - who together conceived of a work that would demolish the social order dominated by the Crown and Church, a brave act at a time when heresy was punishable by death. During the sixteen years it took to write, compile, and produce all twenty-seven volumes, the writers had to defy authorities and face exile, jail, and censorship, as well as numerous internal falling-outs and philosophical differences. Encyclopedies editors and contributors daily skirted danger based solely on their belief systems. Compiling this collection made them - the Encyclopedists, as they came to be called - the most feared men in all of Versailles and the intellectual leaders of the French Revolution. In Enlightening the World, novelist and historian Philipp Blom breathes new life into the sixteen-year struggle to create the Encyclopedie, by portraying the men who wrote it, the powerful forces that tried to suppress it, and the tremendous impact it had on the world.