The Enlightenment had dislodged Christianity from its central position in the life of European societies. Man's quest for ecstasy and transcendence ... Show synopsis The Enlightenment had dislodged Christianity from its central position in the life of European societies. Man's quest for ecstasy and transcendence flooded into areas such as the arts, spawning the Romantic movement. By the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century this secular quest for salvation gave rise to a widespread desire for ideal communities. Adam Zamoyski traces how worship and dedication originally channelled through the church was refocused on the cause of the people and the nation. This dramatic journey begins in America in 1776 and goes right up to the last agony of the Paris Commune in 1871, taking in the French revolution, the Irish rebellion, the Polish risings, the war of Greek liberation, the Russian insurrection, Hungarian struggles for freedom, the liberation of South America and the Italian Risorgimento. On a vast canvas, Adam Zamoyski combines an exhilarating voyage through these spectacular events with illuminating portraits of the key players - Lafayette, Garibaldi, Lamartine, Kossuth, Mazzini, Napoleon, Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Coerlidge, Byron, Bakunin, Rousseau and Bolivar.