"A colorful reinterpretation. . . . Stewart's wit and profluent
prose make this book a fascinating read."-Publishers
Weekly, starred review
Philosophy in the late seventeenth century was a dangerous
business. No careerist could afford to know the reclusive,
controversial philosopher Baruch de Spinoza. Yet the wildly
ambitious genius Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who denounced Spinoza
in public, became privately obsessed with Spinoza's ideas, wrote
him clandestine letters, and ultimately met him in secret.
"In refreshingly lucid terms" (Booklist
) Matthew Stewart
"rescues both men from a dusty academic shelf, bringing them to
life as enlightened humans" (Library Journal
) central to
the religious, political, and personal battles that gave birth to
the modern age. Both men put their faith in the guidance of reason,
but one spent his life defending a God he may not have believed in,
while the other believed in a God who did not need his defense.
Ultimately, the two thinkers represent radically different
approaches to the challenges of the modern era. They stand for a
choice that we all must make.