Longlisted for the National Book Award.Where did the ideas come from that became the cornerstone of American democracy? America’s founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America’s revolutionaries drew their inspiration. In the writings of Spinoza, Lucretius, and other great philosophers, Stewart recovers the true meanings of “Nature’s God,” “the pursuit of happiness,” and the radical political theory with which the American experiment in self-government began.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
Matthew Stewart is the author of Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World and The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
1 The Dirty Little Screw of the American Revolution 9
2 Pathologies of Freedom 39
3 Epicurus's Dangerous Idea 77
4 On the Genealogy of Nature's God 130
5 Self-Evident Truths 201
6 The Pursuit of Happiness 263
7 The Empire of Reason 314
8 The Religion of Freedom 392
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent treatise on how the Founders were influenced by a long line of philosophers from the Greeks to the Enlightenment. Those people who drove out the English knew well the dangers of mixing religion and government. I highly recommend this book to everyone and particularly to those who have been misinformed and misled by modern day religious zealots.
This book was an enlightening and wonderful read. It gets to the crux of some of the most well known founding fathers' philosophical beliefs and how that helped develop the American Revolution.
Compelling and erudite discussion of the intellectual origins of the ideas of the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Nature's not God nimrod!