Look back and learn what’s bright and good…

Feigel, Lara. "Look back and learn what's bright and good..." The Guardian. 2008

Abstract:

The roads to modernity is an intelligent history of the Enlightenments in Britain, France and America that masks a contemporary political manifesto. Gertrude Himmelfarb emphasises the importance of the British Enlightenment and the ‘Britishness’ of its virtues: decency, humanitarianism and sympathy. She praises the British ‘age of benevolence’ over the French ‘age of reason’ and sets the philosophes against Burke and Hume and the French Encyclop√©die against the British Sunday School Movement and the sentimental novel. But her purpose is not purely historical and it is no accident the book comes vigorously endorsed by Gordon Brown. As a neoconservative political theorist, she is advocating a return to the paternalistic morality of the Enlightenment in Britain and providing an intellectual framework to endorse the Bush and Blair-Brown governments.

Read more at The Guardian: Look back and learn what’s bright and good…