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Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

by Peter Hanns Reill, Ellen J. Wilson

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School Library Journal
YAThe authors clearly identify and discuss the key people, subject fields, terms, styles, works, and European locations important in history from the late 1600s to 1800. Americans such as Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine are included. Specific literary, musical, and artistic achievements include Rousseau's Confessions, Mozart's "The Magic Flute," and Goethe's Faust. The more lengthy definitions of terms such as the French Revolution, classicism, or rococo could be useful as they are more concise than those discussions found in the many books written on the same topic. Black-and-white photography aids in gathering interest but is a disappointment for the works of art. A term in all uppercase letters indicates a cross reference both within the text and in the chronology. The detailed index is printed in a tiny font and includes cross references.Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Zom Zoms
The Enlightenment of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century was the beginning of modernity. The ideas of this historical epoch gave rise to the American and French revolutions. Now this philosophical, political, and scientific movement finally has its own one-volume encyclopedia. "Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment" covers such key subjects as education, medicine, science, and music, along with such concepts of the day as checks and balances, natural law, and social contract, to provide an introduction to this period of Western intellectual thought. Many of the important thinkers of the day are included (e.g., Rousseau, Voltaire, Newton); biographies make up a large part of the entries. Important writings, such as "Wealth of Nations", "Emile", and "Don Giovanni", are explicated as to their importance to the movement. Entries also include countries so that the reader may compare the history of the movement in Austria or France, for example. Cross-references in entries provide threads to people, other writings, and ideas treated in the volume A 300-item bibliography of both primary and secondary sources would help the student or general reader to find more information. Unfortunately, the list is arranged by author rather than by topic, requiring the researcher to skim through the whole bibliography. Illustrations are black-and-white engravings of portraits or works of art from the period. A three-page chronology from 1674 to 1814 helps provide a context for the important events in the movement. An index brings everything--entries, illustrations, and chronology--together and is to be used as a supplement to the excellent cross-reference system used in the main entries. Again, the index does not include the bibliographic entries; this would have helped to categorize these entries under subject areas Because of its narrow emphasis and academic tone (the senior author is a historian at UCLA), "Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment" might be better used in the academic or large public library setting. For other libraries, the "Encyclopedia of Philosophy" or "The Oxford Companion to Philosophy" and standard retrospective biographical sources would probably cover most of the major ideas, events, and persons of this era.
A comprehensive alphabetical reference on a period in Western intellectual history characterized by a belief in natural order and confidence in human reason, and marked by a turning-away from Church dogma and the divine right of kings. The entries include key subjects (education, medicine, science, music); key terms (checks and balances, natural law, social contract); important individuals (Locke, Galileo, Rousseau, Voltaire, Mozart); publications (Wealth of Nations, Emile, Don Giovanni); and key places (Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin). Includes a chronology and 100 b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Facts on File, Incorporated
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8.72(w) x 11.26(h) x 1.20(d)

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