Philipp Blom’s A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment

by gertekoo

A Wicked Company

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book with a mission: to change our perception of the Enlightenment and its main actors. It is clear from the outset whom the author likes and dislikes, and whom he wants us to like. But the book strikes a chord, and confirms my biased opinion that the radical, atheistic, hedonistic Enlightenment thought with its emphasis on the individual in a social context, going back to Epicurus, and influencing amongst others Nietzsche, Shelley, and dare I even suggest it, Dawkins, is a much better guide for today than the soft, watered down and much better known version with its deistic emphasis on Reason and System.