How the World Became Modern

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Stephen Greenblatt tells how one ancient manuscript, brought to light after a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern looks at the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius, sparked the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.