Enemies of the Enlightenment  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

f Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (2001) is a book by historian Darrin McMahon.

It extends the Counter-Enlightenment both back to pre-Revolutionary France and down to the level of 'Grub Street', thereby marking a major advance on Isaiah Berlin's intellectual and Germanocentric view. McMahon focuses on the early enemies of the Enlightenment in France, unearthing a long-forgotten 'Grub Street' literature in the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries aimed at the philosophes. He delves into the obscure and at times unseemly world of the 'low Counter-Enlightenment' that attacked the encyclopedistes and fought an often dirty battle to prevent the dissemination of Enlightenment ideas in the second half of the century. A great many of these early opponents of the Enlightenment attacked it for undermining religion and the social and political order. This later became a major theme of conservative criticism of the Enlightenment after the French Revolution appeared to vindicate the warnings of the anti-philosophes in the decades prior to 1789.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Enemies of the Enlightenment" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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