This and its companion volume are together a good deal longer than Ernst Cassirer's study (The Philosophy of the Enlightenment) but are just as valuable. Having read these at some distance in time, I won't attempt now to say anything more about them.Chris
Volume 2. Here Gay attempts to construct the social setting in which Enlightenment thought took off. Enlightenment thinkers did not come up with their ideas in a vacuum; they were influenced by the rise of capitalism, changes in technology, food production, etc.Peter
Everything you needed to know about the Enlightenment, Part 2.