Author Andrew Curran (Wesleyan) Recently Interviewed by New York Times
Author Andrew Curran was recently interviewed by The New York Times about his popular new book, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely—a book about the renowned French philosopher Denis Diderot’s controversial views about politics, religion, and morality.
Curran’s book has been drawing increasing attention over the past few months for its insightful look at the prophetic philosopher, who is recognized for helping to build the foundations of the modern world. For example, Diderot played a major role in the development of the world’s first comprehensive Encyclopédie.
In his interview with The New York Times, Curran explained what surprised him most while researching Diderot for his book: how important he was when it came to his political thoughts. According to Curran, Diderot traveled to Russia to talk to Catherine the Great, his benefactor, in an effort to make the Russian empire a democracy. However, his efforts were futile.
Curran further explained in his interview that what makes Diderot so unique is his focus on posterity: he expected people in the future to explore his unpublished writing. Curran told The New York Times that Diderot’s writing is so relevant today because Diderot fought hard to change how people viewed everything around them during the 1900s not only politics and religion but also human sexuality.
Curran emphasized that his book, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely, will make readers wish they had been given the opportunity to spend time with the complicated and sympathetic philosopher.
In addition to being interviewed by The New York Times, Curran was recently mentioned in a The Guardian article in December 2018, which discussed the relevance of Diderot’s political writing in the current President Trump era.