Towards the Light: The Story of the Struggles for Liberty and Rights That Made the Modern West 
by A. C. Grayling
352 pages
ISBN: 0747592993
 £6.38 on amazon.co.uk

Philosopher A.C. Grayling provides a tour de force through 5 centuries of European history, highlighting some of the key events, personalities and struggles that led to the establishment of rights that Westerns enjoy.
His work is not an exhaustive account of these struggles, and I understand that this was not the author's aim. Indeed, the book offers a brief cover of that story, with an extensive bibliography at the end for those wishing to study further the issues that he raises.

The Reformation and Counter Rereformation, the Inquisition, the Scientific Revolution, The Glorious Revolution in England, the French and American Revolutions; political thinkers like Locke, Montesque and JS Mill, scientists like Galileo and men of action like the Founding Fathers of America; and struggles for the emancipation of slaves, women and workers; these are some of the issues that are being analysed in a clear and accessible way that highlights their interrelationship. 

The book delivers on what its title claims to do; it is both a short history of those struggles, and a polemic aiming to wake up Westerners to the danger of erosion their rights are under, under the pretext of the war on terrorism and security. A book worth reading as an introduction to a further study of an exhiting period in the history of the West.

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