The Enlightenment is looked upon fondly, and it serves to reinforce the notion that the present is superior to the past, but things did not change as rapidly or as completely as many believe. In fact, some recent historians have challenged the belief that the Enlightenment was responsible for the French Revolution, which is a vital issue when it comes to Voltaire. After all, Voltaire, as his contemporaries and as most of his modern listeners know him, is widely regarded as the pinnacle of Enlightenment thought.
It's possible that Michelangelo is the most famous artist in history, but it's also possible that he's an underrated artist. The vast influence of his career is reflected by the fact that he is not only known for his own art but has also come to embody an entire epoch of Western art. Along with Leonardo da Vinci, there are no other artists who so fully capture the spirit of scientific and artistic discovery that characterized art during the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
"Good concise summary"
A zombie apocalypse may seem like a fantasy right now. But what happens when an outbreak hits? Will you be prepared? The zombie apocalypse is a disaster few believe will truly ever occur despite how it has captured the popular imagination. The Center for Disease Control and the Pentagon have developed zombie apocalypse scenarios. If these powerhouses of the American government can take the apocalypse seriously, so can you.
The Renaissance spawned the use of the label "Renaissance man" to describe a person who is extremely talented in multiple fields, and no discussion of the Renaissance is complete without the original Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. Indeed, if 100 people are asked to describe Leonardo in one word, they might give 100 answers.
Alongside the Renaissance, the Enlightenment is credited with the transition to an adherence to reason, secularism, and promotion of values such as the value of the individual, collective freedom, and liberty. At the heart of the movement in France was François-Marie Arouet, better known by the pen name Voltaire, whose writings advocated for greater liberalism, including freedom of religion and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a biting polemic whose satirical attacks on the Catholic Church were among the fiercest of his day.
It's safe to say there have been countless prophets and seers throughout history, but only one Nostradamus (1503-1566). Nostradamus has become a pop-culture fixture even among those who find nothing of note in his work. He is a cult figure among those who pore through his prophecies to look for proof that he foresaw major world events centuries ahead of time.
It would be almost impossible to exaggerate the influence Karl Marx has had upon the world in the last 150 years. Marx was an influential historian, journalist, and economist who is widely considered one of the first social scientists, but he is best remembered for advocating socialism, particularly the brand that would take his name.
It might be fair to say that everyone's thinking has been influenced at one point or another by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, or at least someone who was influenced in turn by Nietzsche. Nietzsche (1844-1900) was one of the most influential men of the 19th century, a German philosopher, poet, and composer who wrote at length about everything from religion to science. In addition to the importance of his work, he was a deft writer and polemic, ensuring his continuing popularity among readers.
"More Life than Philosophy"
One of the towering figures of the age was Jean Jacques Rousseau, whose works were essential to the ideological developments of the 18th century. The prestige of French literature in the 18th century resides especially in its revolutionary character; while the writers of the previous century used to support the social order through their works and showed sympathy and even attempted to explain the political order of the time.
Andy Kaufman never liked to call himself a comedian, so it's a testament to his skills and routines that he is nonetheless considered one of the late 20th century's most famous comedians. In fact, Kaufman's eccentric style and theatrics made him one of the most unique performers of his era, whether it was doing a song and dance routine or staying in character to the extent that nobody could tell whether he was being himself or not.