From the bestselling author of Modern Times, A History of the Jews, and Intellectuals, a provocative, challenging, and readable history of 15 years that laid the foundations of the modern world. The period after Waterloo (1815-1830), traditionally viewed as an "Age of Reaction", was astonishly fertile in new ideas and, Johnson maintains, the ...
From the bestselling author of Modern Times, A History of the Jews, and Intellectuals, a provocative, challenging, and readable history of 15 years that laid the foundations of the modern world. The period after Waterloo (1815-1830), traditionally viewed as an "Age of Reaction", was astonishly fertile in new ideas and, Johnson maintains, the modern world. 16 pages of halftones.
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When BIRTH OF THE MODERN, WORLD SOCIETY 1815-1830 was first published in the United States in 1991, it quickly became a national bestseller. Because as the late, great historian Eugen Weber said in his New York Times Book Review review, the book is a "tour de force."
In less than 1,100 pages, Johnson squeezes in the enormous gallery of statesmen, rogues, poets, warriors, painters, inventors, conquerers, novelists, industrialists, patriots, libertines and even early economists who began the world's rapid progress toward ever-greater prosperity, if not ever-greater peace.
As someone who's reading the thing for at least the 4th time, I can attest that it's a marvelous read.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-04-27 This marvelously readable work from the author of Modern Times , a BOMC main selection in cloth, chronicles the formation of the modern world, illuminating the epoch of Andrew Jackson, Wordsworth, Goya and Beethoven. (June)
Publishers Weekly, 1991-05-03 In 1815, on the eve of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, reactionaryism seemed triumphant everywhere, but by 1830 a decisive shift toward democracy had occurred. In the intervening 15 years, contends Johnson ( Modern Times ), the matrix of the modern world was formed: the U.S. became a global power, Russia expanded rapidly, Britain penetrated Arabia and the Middle East, Latin America threw off Spain's yoke, and an international order which would endure for a century took shape. This marvelously readable, vivid, immensely illuminating 1120-page chronicle of the epoch of Andrew Jackson, Wordsworth, Goya, Faraday, Beethoven and Bolivar is filled with startlingly original, provocative observations. For example, Johnson draws parallels between the destruction of Native Americans in the U.S. and Russia's genocide of Central Asian nomadic peoples. He also argues that Chinese opium addiction was not ``a disease transmitted by the British'' but the home-grown malady of an archaic society. (June)
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