What are the best books about the Age of Enlightenment?

asked by Anonymous
158 contributors
10 solutions
  1. 34

    #1The Social Contract

    The Social Contract
    The Social Contract is written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and translated by Maurice Cranston was originally published in 1762. This book about French revolution tackles the Origin of Inequality and Political Economy.

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    Tony Qiu
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Determining what rights people have and how much of those rights they should give up in order to have government protection is one of the most important concerns in our society today. One of the original thinkers penned this concern out in The Social Contract. Rousseau offered a a wonderful counterpoint to thinkers such as Locke when he expertly argues for the need to protect and control society from ill-whims and bad actors. This book was great for learning this. "
  2. 31

    #2The Prince

    The Prince
    The Prince is a 16th-century political analysis written by Niccolò Machiavelli. This book explains the different types of states, how to acquire and maintain political power and the character and behavior a good prince has to have in order to rule his territory properly.

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    Jordan Webb
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "The Prince is an important piece of historical literature that gives the reader a look into the mind of one of the Age of Enlighment's greatest thinkers. Macchiavelli has written a book that can be interpreted as both a satirical piece on the cutthroat antics of political life in the Enlightenment or an instructional guide on how to use deceit to get ahead in life. If one were looking for a good taste of Enlightenment literature, there's no better place to start than The Prince."
  3. 30


    Candide is a satirical novel by Voltaire. It provides social criticism by telling the story of Candide, who delivers a blow against optimism in the face of life's hardships as he struggles to reunite with the love of his life.

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    Rose Reynolds
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Due to difficulties in posting this review, until it is completely updated the full text of the review, with links, can be found in the comments section directly below. I apologize for this but have been having an unusually difficult time in getting this review to post. This note will be removed once the review is finalized and posted in final form. This review will address the newly issued Kindle edition of Candide that has been released by Open Road Media as well as give an overview of editions of Candide available for the Kindle and available on Amazon. Many Kindle versions of well-known classic books are available. For books available in the public domain, as is the case for Candide, oftentimes these Kindle versions are available for free or for very low price."
  1. 28

    #4The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon is a non-fiction novel published in 1776. This book follows the history of the Western Civilization during the peak of the Roman Empire's power and influence.

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    Dorothy Gibson
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "A readable version of this historic classic.It's a literary work of art. Gibbon's style of narration is breathtaking. On every page he comes out as the true scholar that he really is. His choice of words and his style of sentence construction is consummate on every level."
  2. 9

    #5The Wealth of Nations

    The Wealth of Nations

    The Wealth of Nations is a classical economical financial book about political thought written by Adam Smith. First published in 1776, this book is published in 2003 by Bantam Classics. This has over 1,000 pages.


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    Dolores Vásquez
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I am not a very great financial enthusiast but i would definitely like to read this if only out of curiousity.However,the 1,000 pages are a turnoff"
  3. 5

    #6The Six Wives of Henry VIII

    The Six Wives of Henry VIII
    The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir brings the six queens of Henry VIII to life, based on early biographies, letters, memoirs, account books, and diplomatic reports.

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    Linda Zhong
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "The Six Wives of Henry VIII makes the history of six queens totally enthralling. This is an impeccably well-researched book, filled to the brim with quotes, facts, figures and stories collected often from first-person sources from the time. This isn't your average biography--these stories contain more intrigue than you bargained for!"
  4. 4

    #7The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
    The Swerve: How the World Became Modern is a multi-award-winning book by Stephen Greenblatt. It tells the story of the discovery of a manuscript by Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, and how it greatly affected Renaissance thinkers.

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    Tammy Patterson
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This book was very informative and entertaining. This well-written, well-documented book makes for a fascinating read assuming one has interest in the topic. This is a fabulous piece of popular intellectual history. For those of us who are not professional Historians but are nonetheless interested in how we got where we are, this is wonderful stuff"
  5. 4

    #8The Lives of the Artists

    The Lives of the Artists

    The Lives of Artists is a book written by Giorgi Vasari, translated from the original Italian by Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella. It chronicles the lives of thirty-six men who greatly influenced the Renaissance art movement.


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    Edison Fan
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "it is a very good book about the arts and I recommend it to all that may like it"
  6. 2


    Confessions is an autobiographical book written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and published in 1782. In this book, the novelist and philosopher explains the story of his life, from his formative years to the achievement of international fame.

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    Frank Barnett
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "An eye opening journey through the thoughts of man and it's consequences. While you may not particularly like the focus of the book the message is what is important here, if you can stand the messenger. "
  7. 1

    #10Tis Folly To Be Wise Death And Transfiguration Of Jean Jacques Rousseau

    Tis Folly To Be Wise Death And Transfiguration Of Jean Jacques Rousseau

    Tis Folly To Be Wise Death And Transfiguration Of Jean Jacques Rousseau by Lion Feuchtwanger is a biographical fiction originally published in 1923. Its original title in German is Narrenweisheit oder Tod und Verklärung des Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 


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    Harold Day
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I'm sure that this book has it's fans but I am not one. I just didn't get it. It was confusing and boring. Not for me."


Best What are the best books about the Age of Enlightenment
1The Social ContractBooks 34 Paid
2The PrinceBooks 31 Paid
3CandideBooks 30 Paid
4The Decline and Fall of the Roman EmpireBooks 28 Paid
5The Wealth of NationsBooks 9 Paid
6The Six Wives of Henry VIIIBooks 5 Paid
7The Swerve: How the World Became ModernBooks 4 Paid
8The Lives of the ArtistsBooks 4 Paid
9ConfessionsBooks 2 Paid
10Tis Folly To Be Wise Death And Transfiguration Of Jean Jacques RousseauBooks 1 Paid

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