As the description of an era exciting in its ideological contrast- colorful in its free yet tempered flamboyancy of artistic expression- one that was the culmination of man's discovery of his own powers and often named the beginning of modern democratic limitations, this is well planned, thoughtfully analytical and lively- should be greeted with enthusiasm. In love with his period, Friedrich naturally sides with its admirers. For him, the Baroque is not a hodge podge of motives but a time when Europe was stremble with the accomplishment of great deeds and afire with the religious emotions concurrent with the deeds. Throughout the chapters from political and economic theory to art, music, religion, to the rise of constitutionalism, this feeling holds. Hobbes, the philosopher of power and the natural law- might equals right-precedes Baruch Spinoza's conclusions on the obligation of man to be naturally happy. Kepler's and Galileo's discoveries were beginning to make men conceive of themselves in their present universal situation. The strength, suppressing and supporting, of the Puritans, made for the development of modern constitutionalism. An admirably expressed collection of data on the times, this is a period lover's gift to his followers and potential followers- a wonderful characterization that is an pleasing though not as compact as Burckhardt's study of the Renaissance.