Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment

Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment Review

In 1766 philosopher, novelist, composer, and political provocateur Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a fugitive, decried by his enemies as a dangerous madman. Meanwhile David Hume—now recognized as the foremost philosopher in the English language—was being universally lauded as a paragon of decency. And so Rousseau came to England with his beloved dog, Sultan, and willingly took refuge with his more respected counterpart. But within months, the exile was loudly accusing his benefactor of plotting to dishonor him—which prompted a most uncharacteristically violent response from Hume. And so began a remarkable war of words and actions that ensnared many of the leading figures in British and French society, and became the talk of intellectual Europe.

Rousseau's Dog is the fascinating true story of the bitter and very public quarrel that turned the Age of Enlightenment's two most influential thinkers into deadliest of foes—a most human tale of compassion, treachery, anger, and revenge; of celebrity and its price; of shameless spin; of destroyed reputations and shattered friendships.

Title:Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment
Edition Language:English

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    Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers at War in the Age of Enlightenment Reviews

  • Brad Lyerla

    I admit it. I generally enjoy short philosophy-lite books like ROUSSEAU’S DOG. Edmund and Eidinow’s earlier WITTGENSTEIN’S POKER was no masterpiece. But it was hugely fun. So naturally, I looked...

  • Viji  (Bookish endeavors)

    The dog's tail..The second dog(no,not Sultan..) of Rousseau,the dog that always barked and led to the tarnishing of many prominent names. This is the story of that dog. Well.. The problem with this do...

  • Barney

    I don't want to give any of the pleasures of this book away but it is a PERFECT example of Twain's dictum that people NEVER change. It's the enlightenment and the players are Hume and Rousseau but wh...

  • Rosary

    I think I learned more about Rousseau's and Hume's philosophies from this book than from anything else I had read about them--including some of their own works. Edmonds and Eidinow manage to take phil...

  • Jo Walton

    I was thoroughly enjoying this book until it came to the actual quarrel between Rousseau and Hume, which was not "two thinkers at war" but two men in emotional distress in a way that's not fun to read...

  • Shaun

    To think that two great philosophers and “men of reason” — David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau — could fall prey to their uncontrollable passions in the Age of Enlightenment make this an exce...

  • Pterodactyl

    What I've learned of philosophy was removed from history, so I never realized before picking up this book that David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were contemporaries, let alone that they had a very ...

  • Rick

    I admit that I was less interested in how well Rousseau and Hume got along - or didn't get along - than I was in comparisons of their philosophy...which was scarce in this book....

  • Margaux Tatin Blanc

    What a complicated story... and what mass of letters the writers of this book must have had to find,locate and read... and then did they really re-read Hume and Rousseau? I have my doubts on that poin...

  • D

    Let me begin by saying that I like the authors and how they approach their subjects. Previously I'd read their book about the 1972 World Chess Championship game between Spasky and Bobby Fischer. John ...