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Ivan Illich. The Intellectual Powers. Albert Camus' Critique of Modernity. Ronald D. Simone Weil. Thomas R. Leaving You. Lisa Lieberman. Regimes of Historicity. Thinking Impossibilities. Robert S. Twilight of History. Shlomo Sand. Levinas, Subjectivity, Education. Anna Strhan. David Roberts. The Royal Remains. Eric L. Hegel's Political Philosophy. Sebastian Stein. Lessons of the Masters. Louis Dupre. History Is a Contemporary Literature. It was there, not at home, that Franklin was most likely to find a graven image of himself.

And it was there, not at home, that Franklin was most effective at parlaying the celebrity of genius into political and diplomatic influence to say nothing of success in the bedroom. When the newly convened National Assembly received word that Franklin had died, the revolutionary leader Mirabeau rose to proclaim three days of official mourning.

Or so it was claimed. Once, not long before, the gods and Fate had been held to rule the world. But in Europe, at the time of the French Revolution and for many decades thereafter, history was well imagined as the work of great men. Even in a country whose people stormed the Bastille en masse and marched to Versailles to remove the king and queen, the many revered the one. Such reverence gave new impetus to the cult of genius that had developed in Europe for close to a century, allowing it to burst forth in spectacular new ways.

The scale of the revolutionary celebrations was impressive, their claims about genius bold. And in their repeated insistence that exceptional individuals were the true motors of history, who had ushered in the glorious dawn of , the revolutionaries worked to drown out the doubts of skeptics like Adams. The genius could be a maker of revolutions, a leader of the people, a revolutionary man. Yet the notion of genius has been diluted in recent times. As acclaimed historian Darrin M. Adapted in the centuries that followed and applied to a variety of religious figures, including prophets, apostles, sorcerers, and saints, abiding notions of transcendent human power were invoked at the time of the Renaissance to explain the miraculous creativity of men like Leonardo and Michelangelo.

Yet it was only in the eighteenth century that the genius was truly born, idolized as a new model of the highest human type. Assuming prominence in figures as varied as Newton and Napoleon, the modern genius emerged in tension with a growing belief in human equality.


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  5. Contesting the notion that all are created equal, geniuses served to dramatize the exception of extraordinary individuals not governed by ordinary laws. The phenomenon of genius drew scientific scrutiny and extensive public commentary into the 20th century, but it also drew religious and political longings that could be abused. In the genius cult of the Nazis and the outpouring of reverence for the redemptive figure of Einstein, genius achieved both its apotheosis and its Armageddon.

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    History professor’s ‘Divine Fury’ explores perceptions of genius

    Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Usually ships within 6 days. Overview Genius. About the Author Darrin M.