Last Days of Magic cover art

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins

This is the kind of book where you want to lose yourself in the story and are compelled to read it whenever you have free time. But instead I had to force myself to finish it after I had invested time in starting. If you like big, messy, sprawling stories about a secret history with lots of violence and sex then this may be for you. Just didn't work for me.

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The three big stories of modernity

So far there have been three widely influential stories about the rise of modernity: the Emancipatory, the Protestant, and the Neo-Thomist. The Emancipatory account argues that modernity is fundamentally about the use of rediscovered classical learning, especially the Skeptics and Epicureans in their literary and philosophical modes, to liberate European Man from bondage to a power-hungry church and religious superstition. The Protestant account argues that modernity marks the moment when...

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