Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. A profound consolation to early believers, these two books from the Bible deeply influenced the rise of the Christian church: the apocalyptic Revelation portraying the religion's ultimate triumph over its foes and The Book of Job depicting one man's faith in the face of incredible adversity.
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François-Marie Arouet, writing under the pseudonym Voltaire, was born in 1694 into a Parisian bourgeois family. He became notorious for lampoons on leading notables and was twice imprisoned in the Bastille. By his mid-thirties his literary activities precipitated a four-year exile in England where he won the praise of Swift and Pope for his political tracts. His publication, three years later in France, of Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (1733), an attack on French Church and State, forced him to flee again. For twenty years Voltaire lived mainly away from Paris. Among his best-known books are satirical tales such as Zadig (1747) and Candide (1759). He died in Paris in 1778.
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