This brief volume introduces the movement called the Enlightenment that swept through 18h-century Europe affecting all areas of political, religious, and educational life. A variety of selections showcase the writings of a number of Enlightenment figures, including Locke, Rousseau, Mary Wortley Montagu, Diderot, and Moses Mendelssohn. A comprehensive introduction reaches back to the roots of the movement to set up critical background on the political and social debates of the period. All documents are preceded by headnotes, and the volume includes a chronology, 14 illustrations, a bibliography, and an index.
Margaret C. Jacob is professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has published widely on science, religion, freemasonry, and the origins of the Industrial Revolution. A past Guggenheim and Fulbright fellow, Jacob has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her first book, The Newtonians and the English Revolution (1976), won the Gottschalk prize from the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, of which she was president from 1997 to 1998. Her most recent book is Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West (1997).