Jonathan Israel, one of the world’s leading historians of the Enlightenment, shows how the radical ideas of American founders set the pattern for democratic revolutions, movements, and constitutions in France, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Greece, Canada, Haiti, Brazil, and Spanish America. Please join us for a presentation and discussion with two acclaimed historians.
Israel's The Expanding Blaze reminds us that the American Revolution was an astonishingly radical event—and that it didn’t end with the transformation and independence of America. Rather, the Revolution continued to reverberate in Europe and the Americas for the next three-quarters of a century. This comprehensive history of the Revolution’s international influence traces how American efforts to implement radical enlightenment ideas—including the destruction of the old regime and the promotion of democratic republicanism, self-government, and liberty—helped drive revolutions abroad, as foreign leaders explicitly followed the American example and espoused American democratic values.
The first major new intellectual history of the age of democratic revolution in decades, The Expanding Blaze returns the American Revolution to its global context.
Jonathan Israel is Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. His influential books include, most recently, Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution; Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, and A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy. Sean Wilentz is Professor of American History at Princeton University and the author of the Bancroft Prize-winning The Rise of American Democracy among many other books. His most recent book is The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics.