Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments” as Want to Read:
The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In an elegant, eminently readable work, one of our most distinguished intellectual historians gives us a brilliant revisionist history. The Roads to Modernity reclaims the Enlightenment–an extraordinary time bursting with new ideas about human nature, politics, society, and religion--from historians who have downgraded its importance and from scholars who have given preemi ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Vintage (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Roads to Modernity, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Roads to Modernity

Candide and Philosophical Letters by VoltaireThe Social Contract by Jean-Jacques RousseauThe Enlightenment by Peter GayThe Wealth of Nations by Adam SmithAn Answer to the Question by Immanuel Kant
The Enlightenment and its Impact
86th out of 198 books — 43 voters
What's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective ... by Martha Char LoveThe Blank Slate by Steven PinkerDescartes' Error by Antonio R. DamasioStrangers to Ourselves - Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious by Timothy D. WilsonIn Two Minds by Jonathan St.B.T. Evans
Social Animal
65th out of 75 books — 17 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 413)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
أسامة غاوجي
تقف الؤلفة خصما لتعميم نموذج التنوير الفرنسي على حالة قرن التنوير الذي رافق ولادة الحداثة , وفي الجزء الأكبر من الكتاب تحاول ابراز الوجه الأخلاقي وما تسميه "سيسولوجيا الفضيلة " التي اتسم بها التنوير البريطاني بمجمله والتأكيد على اسبقيته التاريخية وتأثيره البالغ في التنوير الفرنسي والأمريكي بشكل أكبر وتؤكد على استمرار حضوره رغم الحضور الطاغي ل"ايدلوجيا العقل " في التنوير الفرنسي الذي تضخم حضوره بسبب تحوله الى ثورة -على الرغم ان التحول لم يكن سلسا - , وفي جزء الكتاب الأخير تناقش اطروحة "الحرية الس ...more
Thomas Baughman
A NeoConservative view of the Enlightenment. In a nutshell she argues that the British and American limited vesions of the Enlightenment are good and the Nasty Radical French version of it is bad.
Jan 09, 2012 Eman marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب بنسخته الالكترونية
Gamal elneel
التنوير البريطانى والفضيلة
وقادة الفكر آدم سميث وجون لوك وديفيد هيوم وصمويل جونسون

التنير الفرنسى وايدلوجييا العقل
جان جاك روسو وفولتير

والتنوير الامريكى والحرية
Monica Perez
This is a good overview of the British, French and American Enlightenments. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of the British Enlightenment as it was the most thorough and also the Enlightenment itself was the most interesting, the most original and seemed to be driven by philosophers looking to discover truth rather than push an agenda (as were the French philosophes). However, Himmelfarb displays in the end a most irrational conclusion often reached by neo-conservatives: that the experiment ...more
تنكشف من خلال صفحات الكتاب على موضوعات النقاش الدائر في عصر التنوير بنماذجه الثلاثة: البريطاني، الفرنسي والأمريكي. من الملفت للانتباه أن التنوير هذا اعتمد على تداول فكري نشط بين مفكّري وفلاسفة كل بلد فيما بينهم، وما تجاوز حدود البلد أيضا.
التنوير البريطاني اعتمد على اعتقاد راسخ بوجود الحاسة الخلقية أو ما شابهها من اصطلاحات (سوسيولوجيا الفضيلة) لدى الناس فحرّك مكامن الخير والعطاء لديهم لخلق ما عرف بعصر الأريحية الذي انتشرت به المؤسسات والأعمال الخيرية. بالاضافة الى تجنب هذا التنوير مواجهة مباشرة م
Bookmarks Magazine

Reclaiming the Enlightenment would be an ambitious challenge for any historian, but it is perhaps even more daunting for one so closely identified with a particular brand of politics (neoconservatism). No one questions Himmelfarb's credentials for tackling the job: she is professor emeritus at the City University of New York and the author of nine books. But she takes some hard lumps for attempting to link the Enlightenment to the current American political scene (one reviewer dubbed her "an apo

I would have preferred a history of the Enlightenment rather than this survey of different issues of that period. One complaint I have is despite the subtitle of the book, about 120 pages are devoted to trying to argue for including England in the Enlightenment (which I agree with) and only 38 pages to the French and 35 pages to the American Enlightenments. While I agree that the English and American revolutions were certainly more successful (and less bloody) than the French Revolution, I find ...more
This is a welcome corrective to the notion that the Enlightenment began in France. The British version not only predated the French and American versions, but heavily influenced them. The only criticism I would make is that it is too patriotically British. Patriotism invariably distorts objectivity. Nonetheless, it's great to read about this hitherto neglected area of history.
Enlightenments was perfect. I read Gertrude Himmelfarb's The Demoralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values a few years ago, and thought it was extremely thought provoking and well-written. I think the same of The Roads; however, I would recommend becoming familiar with the basics of western philosophy before reading this one. If you're unfamiliar with Kant, Hume, Smith etc...(the list goes on and on), then it would be really difficult to follow or identify with the ideas in ...more
Feb 23, 2009 Tuuli is currently reading it
Learn a bit about the Enlightenment witha new twist: The French do not get all the credit nor was the era all about reason. I don't have much frame of reference to compete with her assertions but i find it stimulating to understand the movements in thought which informed this pre-Victorian era. I've only read the British section and a bit of the French. Stopped to read another book and rest my mind from accumulating dead people names. :)
Oh Gertrude. Why you so incisively crass?

She badly misreads at least one document(s; the famous Jefferson-Madison exchange on generations), cherry-picks shock-value quotes from the philosophes, & overstates American egalitarianism (mostly by quoting Tocqueville),--all in an attempt to reify the cliche ([for her] yay) reformist Britain vs. (ew) revolutionary France binary.
Seth Holler
The bulk of this book is great: informative, compelling, modest and measured in its claims, most importantly engaging.

This may be my residual Calvinism speaking, but I'm less sanguine than Himmelfarb about contemporary American life (see Epilogue; but see also the astounding qualifying sentence).
Although I read this for class and it seemed excessively boring at first, it was actually a really smart look at Enlightenment ideas and trends of 18th century American, French, and English philosophers.
Nov 12, 2007 Nina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in european history
Shelves: history
This is a great, short, readable history of enlightenment thought. It is non-traditional in that it focuses on the English enlightenment - and contrasts it with the French.
An excellent overview of the British, French and American Enlightenment, associated, respectively, with virtue, reason and liberty.
Although I read this for class and it seems excessively boring, it was actually a really smart look at Enlightenment ideas and trends.
Paul Waibel
Very interesting but challenging book about the Enlightenment.
Bassem Rihani
Bassem Rihani marked it as to-read
May 16, 2015
نينوفر marked it as to-read
May 16, 2015
Moha Saber
Moha Saber marked it as to-read
May 10, 2015
Mohammed Al
Mohammed Al marked it as to-read
May 03, 2015
Frank Obara
Frank Obara is currently reading it
Apr 23, 2015
Caleb Kormann
Caleb Kormann marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2015
Brian Connelly
Brian Connelly marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2015
Kelsey added it
Apr 10, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Education of the Senses
  • The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers
  • The Philosophy of the Enlightenment
  • فلسفة العلم في القرن العشرين: الأصول – الحصاد – الآفاق المستقبلية
  • حكمة الغرب الجزء الأول: عرض تاريخي للفلسفة الغربية في إطارها الإجتماعي والسياسي
  • The Portable Enlightenment Reader
  • A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy
  • The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality
  • الحق العربي في الاختلاف الفلسفي
  • The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
  • The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in Britain: 1789-1837
  • God's Funeral: The Decline of Faith in Western Civilization
  • The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea
  • Henry Adams and the Making of America
  • Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (Allen Lane History)
  • Mind, Language And Society: Philosophy In The Real World
  • The Muslim Discovery of Europe
  • Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Staël
The De-moralization Of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values On Looking Into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society One Nation, Two Cultures The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution

Share This Book