The Shape of the New: Four Big Ideas and How They Made the Modern World


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.2 X 1.3 inches | 1.6 pounds

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About the Author

Scott L. Montgomery is an affiliate faculty member in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Daniel Chirot is professor of Russian and Eurasian studies at the University of Washington.


"This is a wonderful book. Montgomery and Chirot combine double-barreled scholarship, lucid prose, and considerable wisdom to offer us a fascinating excursion into the history of ideas. For anyone who wants to understand today's emerging conflicts--and what it will take for Enlightenment liberalism again to prevail--The Shape of the New is essential reading."--Jeffrey Gedmin, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
"The Shape of the New is an ambitious book and a joy to read. The scholarship is brilliant. In contextualizing the great ideas of modern history, Montgomery and Chirot provide a holistic framework with which to understand the processes of social change and ideological conflict."--Paul Froese, coauthor of America's Four Gods: What We Say about God--and What That Says about Us
"This fantastic book offers an impressively learned and evenhanded treatment of the Enlightenment's key ideas and the reactions to them over the past two centuries. I guarantee that anyone who reads it will be a lot smarter, more cultured, and a far more intellectually interesting dinner companion."--Zoltan Barany, author of The Soldier and the Changing State: Building Democratic Armies in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas
"This important book demonstrates the power of Enlightenment ideas, how they have shaped the world we live in, and how they have created systems of both action and reaction through time. It should be widely read by students, educators, and others who think that there is no need to teach classical thinkers or that their era is over."--Karen Barkey, author of Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective
"I was struck again and again by the extraordinary breadth, erudition and lucidity of this book."---Fareed Zakaria, New York Times Book Review
"This is a gem of a book in that it has the audacity to paint in big strokes to portray a great intellectual history that puts our often competing, current belief systems into their 18th and 19th century contexts. In light of the increasingly perplexing news headlines, this type of bold context setting is a real gift."---Diana Farrell, President and chief executive officer, JPMorgan Chase Institute in Bloomberg Best Books of 2015,
"One of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015"
"One of Bloomberg Businessweek's Best Books of 2015, chosen by Diana Farrell"
"One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016"