From Dawn to Decadence

500 Years of Western Cultural Life 1500 to the Present

By Jacques Barzun
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060928834, 912pp.)

Publication Date: May 2001

List Price: $23.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Description

Highly regarded here and abroad for some thirty works of cultural history and criticism, master historian Jacques Barzun has now set down in one continuous narrative the sum of his discoveries and conclusions about the whole of Western culture since 1500.

In this account, Barzun describes what Western Man wrought from the Renaisance and Reformation down to the present in the double light of its own time and our pressing concerns. He introduces characters and incidents with his unusual literary style and grace, bringing to the fore those that have "Puritans as Democrats," "The Monarch's Revolution," "The Artist Prophet and Jester" -- show the recurrent role of great themes throughout the eras.

The triumphs and defeats of five hundred years form an inspiring saga that modifies the current impression of one long tale of oppression by white European males. Women and their deeds are prominent, and freedom (even in sexual matters) is not an invention of the last decades. And when Barzun rates the present not as a culmination but a decline, he is in no way a prophet of doom. Instead, he shows decadence as the creative novelty that will burst forth -- tomorrow or the next day.

Only after a lifetime of separate studies covering a broad territory could a writer create with such ease the synthesis displayed in this magnificent volume.




About the Author
The two authors of this book have had their professional career in history, JACQUES BARZUN in Modern Cultural, HENRY F. GRAFF in American Political and Diplomatic, both at Colombia University. They first collaborated in creating the course in historical method required of all first-year graduate students, and the material for it was and remains the core of The Modern Researcher. Both scholars have published widely in periodicals of specialist and general interest and each has a list of influential books to his credit. Jacques Barzun s latest is From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural History. A summing up of his lifelong studies, it stayed on the best-seller list for weeks in 2000. Henry Graff s latest almost simultaneous are a third edition of his classic compendium The Presidents: A Reference History and Grover Cleveland, a biography.
Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound






Update Profile