Anthony Gottlieb is a former executive editor of the Economist and has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University and All Souls College, Oxford. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and The New York Times. He lives in New York.
Wondrously perceptive and exceptionally well-written -- Edward O. Wilson I have never seen a discussion of philosophy as fun to read -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb The Dream of Enlightenment is an entertaining introduction to a range of daring thinkers of the long Enlightenment from Descartes to Rousseau. The author has a light touch, and his book is a joy to read. He manages to convey the excitement of ideas, and the humanity of thinkers, without swamping readers with complexity. * Economist * Vivid and illuminating ... a compact but fairly comprehensive survey, along with much historical detail ... Gottlieb's highly readable book can be recommended as an engaging personal introduction to some of our most brilliant moral and intellectual ancestors. -- Thomas Nagel * New York Review of Books * He wears his learning lightly with an engaging and entirely comprehensible sequence of crystal-clear paragraphs. ... His prose is as witty as it is punctilious, peppered with clever, memorable lines. ... Because Gottlieb does not take an excessively idealistic view of the power of reason, he is able to put the achievements of the thinkers in this book in their place, neither exaggerating nor diminishing them. He is as crisp in his criticism of the thinkers he admires as he is of their shallower opponents. -- Julian Baggini * Financial Times * He writes with easy elegance and pace as he takes you on a tour of some of the high points of Enlightenment thinking ... Gottlieb sweeps away a considerable stock of mythologies. He ... provides incisive and winning exegesis. -- Richard Bourke * Literary Review *