Encyclopédie: The Triumph of Reason in an Unreasonable Age

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Fourth Estate, Jan 1, 2004 - Encyclopedias and dictionaries, French - 372 pages
2 Reviews
The story of one of the most revolutionary books in history: the Encyclopedie and the young men who risked everything to write it. In 1777 a group of young men produced a book that aimed to tear the world apart and rebuild it. It filled 27 volumes and contained 72,000 articles, 16,500 pages and 17 million words. The Encyclopedie was so dangerous and subversive that it was banned by the Pope and was seen as one of the causes of the French Revolution. 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; d'Alembert, one of the leading mathematician of the 18th century; Rousseau, the father of Romanticism and Voltaire, the author of CANDIDE. During the 16 years it took to write, compile and produce all 27 volumes, the writers had to defy the authorities and faced exile, jail and censorship, as well as numerous internal falling outs and philosophical differences.

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User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

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User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Philipp Blom is a journalist, translator, novelist, and historian. He is author of "To Have and To Hold" and writes regularly for the "Times Literary Supplement" and "The Daily Telegraph." He lives in Paris.

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