Gay was born in Berlin in and emigrated to the United States in From to he was a political science professor at Columbia University , and then a history professor from to Gilman , a literary historian at Emory University , called Gay "one of the major American historians of European thought, period". His family initially booked passage on the MS St. Louis whose passengers were eventually denied visas but fortuitously changed their booking to an earlier voyage to Cuba.
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The Naked Heart: The Bourgeois Experience from Victoria to Freud. - Free Online Library
His massive study The Enlightenment: An Interpretation two volumes, and , rehabilitated the age of reason and its thinkers, above all perhaps the Scottish philosopher David Hume, as rationalists who consciously rejected Christian myths and superstition and laid the foundations for the modern world of ideas. Men such as Voltaire, he argued, were not irresponsible or impractical thinkers, but provided the intellectual ammunition for the liberal and democratic political ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries. The first volume, subtitled The Rise of Modern Paganism, was widely acclaimed far beyond the academic world, and won the National Book award in the US. In his encyclopedic The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud five volumes between and , Gay explored in wonderfully readable prose a wide range of aspects of the European — especially the British, French and German — and the North American middle classes in their heyday.
Pleasure Wars: The Bourgeois Experience Victoria to Freud
Volume 3. By Peter Gay. HOW can a history of hating be lifeless? That's one mystery. The other is: how can an eminent and able historian allow his main argument to sleep through almost all of his book?
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