Dream of Enlightenment
Anthony Gottlieb

Book cover image

Narrated By: Anthony Gottlieb

Duration: 10 hours and 4 minutes

What to expect

The author of the classic The Dream of Reason vividly explains the rise of modern thought from Descartes to Rousseau.


Western philosophy from c 1800, Philosophical traditions and schools of thought, Philosophy, Philosophy of religion

Listen to a sample

“Wondrously perceptive and exceptionally well written, The Dream of Enlightenment not only provides a key account of the Enlightenment philosophers but also inspires us to consider a new enlightenment that could fundamentally transform our own world as much as it did theirs.”

Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

“A rare combination of encyclopedic knowledge, clarity, and lapidary style. I have never seen a discussion of philosophy as fun to read, presented with such clarity. I spent a decade and a half waiting for this book, yet it exceeds expectation: Gottlieb has a philosophical erudition that is so refreshing in a world of narrow academic résumé building.“

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York Times bestselling author

“Gottlieb, a former executive editor of the Economist, takes on the difficult task of trying to figure out what exactly the Enlightenment’s greatest thinkers were thinking, and to describe their thoughts in lay terms…Gottlieb skillfully juggles the biographical eccentricities of the philosophers and their enormous paper flow (some one million pages for Leibniz alone).”

Publishers Weekly

“Gottlieb (former executive editor, the Economist) provides a sequel to The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance…An accessible introduction to Enlightenment philosophers with much to offer all educated readers.”

Library Journal

“A lively collective portrait of daring intellectuals…The Enlightenment, the author convincingly asserts, set the ground for toleration of religious dissent, scientific progress, and the dismantling of feudalism. Engaging, accessible, and informative.”