The Shape of the New : Four Big Ideas and How They Made the Modern World

by Scott L. Montgomery

Other authorsDaniel Chirot (Author.)
Paperback, 2016




Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2016]


Examines "Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx--heirs of the Enlightenment who embodied its highest ideals about progress--and shows how their thoughts, over time and in the hands of their followers and opponents, transformed the very nature of our beliefs, institutions, economies, and politics"

User reviews

LibraryThing member Illiniguy71
The authors tell us of ideas that matter and why it is important to study their history and the opposition that has arisen to them. The authors present capitalism as justified by Adam Smith, Marxism of both Marx and his followers, the ideas of Darwin and related "social Darwinism" of Herbert Spencer, and the two visions of a modern democratic country as envisioned by Hamilton and Jefferson. Somewhat less attention is given to authoritarianism, fascism, the Nazis, Christian fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism, all of which are viewed as opposed to the Enlightenment. The treatments of Adam Smith and Marx are probably the most insightful. A book with much to offer, and yet, it weakens a bit toward the end.… (more)



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