The Enlightenment/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about The Enlightenment.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.


  • Baker, Keith Michael and Reill, Peter Hanns, eds. What's Left of Enlightenment? A Postmodern Question. 2001. 203 pp.
  • Baker, Keith Michael. Condorcet: From Natural Philosophy to Social Mathematics. 1975.
  • Baker, Keith Michael. Inventing the French Revolution: Essays on French Political Culture in the Eighteenth Century. 1990. excerpt and text search
  • Becker, Carl L. The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers. 1932.
  • Blom, Philipp. Enlightening the World: Encyclopédie, the Book That Changed the Course of History. 2005. 416 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Bradley, James E. and VanKley, Dale, eds. Religion and Politics in Enlightenment Europe. 2001. 424 pp.
  • Buchan, James. Crowded with Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind. 2003. 436 pp.
  • Burns, William. Science in the Enlightenment: An Encyclopedia (2003) 353pp
  • Cassirer, Ernst. The Philosophy of the Enlightenment. 1955. a highly influential study by a neoKantian philosopher excerpt and text search
  • Chisick, Harvey. Historical Dictionary of the Enlightenment. 2005. 512 pp
  • Commager, Henry Steele. The Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America Realized the Enlightenment. 1977. 360 pp.
  • Delon, Michel. Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (2001) 1480pp
  • Dupré, Louis. The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture. 2004. 384 pp.
  • Fitzpatrick, Martin et al., eds. The Enlightenment World. (2004). 714pp; 39 essays by scholars online edition
  • Gay, Peter. The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism (1966, 2nd ed. 1995), 952 pp; excerpt and text search vol 1; The Enlightenment: The Science of Freedom, (1969 2nd ed. 1995), a highly influential study excerpt and text search vol 2;
  • Goodman, Dena. The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (1994) 338 pp online edition
  • Gordon, Daniel. Postmodernism and the Enlightenment: New Perspectives in Eighteenth-Century French Intellectual History (2000) excerpt and text search
  • Hankins, Thomas L. Science and the Enlightenment. 1985. 216 pp.
  • Hazard, Paul. European thought in the eighteenth century: From Montesquieu to Lessing (1965)
  • Himmelfarb, Gertrude. The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments. 2004. 272 pp.
  • Hunt, Margaret, et al., eds. Women and the Enlightenment. 1984.
  • Imhof, Ulrich. The Enlightenment. 1994. 310 pp.
  • Israel, Jonathan I. Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750. 2001. 810 pp.
  • Israel, Jonathan I. Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670-1752 (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Kaiser, Thomas E. "This Strange Offspring of Philosophie: Recent Historiographical Problems in Relating the Enlightenment to the French Revolution." French Historical Studies 15 (Spring 1988): 549-62. in JSTOR
  • Knott, Sarah and Taylor, Barbara, eds. Women, Gender, and Enlightenment. 2005. 769 pp.
  • Kors, Alan Charles. Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (4 vol. 1990; 2nd ed. 2003), 1984pp excerpt and text search; also complete text online at
  • Koselleck, Reinhart. Critique and Crisis: Enlightenment and the Pathogenesis of Modern Society 1988. excerpt and text search
  • LaVopa, Anthony J. "Women, Gender, and the Enlightenment: A Historical Turn," The Journal of Modern History June 2008, Vol. 80, No. 2: 332-357.
  • Livingstone, David N. and Withers, Charles W. J., eds. Geography and Enlightenment. 1999. 455 pp.
  • Mason, Haydn Trevor. Voltaire: A Biography. 1981. 194 pp.
  • May, Henry F. The Enlightenment in America. 1976. 419 pp.
  • Munck, Thomas. The Enlightenment: A Comparative Social History, 1721-1794. 2000. 249 pp.
  • Outram, Dorinda. The Enlightenment(1995) 157pp excerpt and text search
  • Pearson, Roger. Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom. 2005. 447 pp.
  • Porter, Roy. The Creation of the Modern World: The Untold Story of the British Enlightenment. 2000. 608 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Porter, Roy. The Enlightenment (2nd ed. 2001) excerpt and text search
  • Reid-Maroney, Nina. Philadelphia's Enlightenment, 1740-1800: Kingdom of Christ, Empire of Reason. 2001. 199 pp.
  • Reill, Peter Hanns, and Wilson, Ellen Judy. Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. (2nd ed. 2004). 670 pp.
  • Robertson, John. The Case for The Enlightenment: Scotland and Naples 1680-1760 (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Roche, Daniel. France in the Enlightenment. 1998. 736 pp.
  • Rothschild, Emma. Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment. 2001. 353 pp.
  • Spencer, Samia I., ed. French Women and the Age of Enlightenment. 1984.
  • Staloff, Darren. Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding. 2005. 419 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Sutcliffe, Adam. Judaism and Enlightenment. 2003. 314 pp.
  • Till, Nicholas. Mozart and the Enlightenment: Truth, Virtue, and Beauty in Mozart's Operas. 1993. 384 pp.
  • Venturi, Franco. Utopia and Reform in the Enlightenment (2 vol 1971)
  • Vovelle, Michel and Cochrane, Lydia G., eds. Enlightenment Portraits. 1997. 456 pp.
  • Wilson, Arthur. Diderot. 1972.
  • Yolton, John W. et al. The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment. 1992. 581 pp.

Primary sources

  • Jacob, Margaret C. The Enlightenment: Brief History with Documents (2000) excerpt and text search
  • Voltaire. The Portable Voltaire ed by Ben Ray Redman (1977)
  • Williams, David, ed. The Enlightenment (Cambridge Readings in the History of Political Thought) (1999) excerpt and text search