FROM DAWN TO. DECADENCE. Years of Western. Cultural Life. to the Present. JACQUES BARZUN. Ha. HarperCollins/^/zs/rers. An outline biography of the life of the historian Jacques Barzun author of – From Dawn to Decadence – regarded as a classic cultural history review. Highly regarded here and abroad for some thirty works of cultural history and criticism, master historian Jacques Barzun has now set down in one continuo.

Author: Malrajas Domi
Country: Seychelles
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Relationship
Published (Last): 26 December 2014
Pages: 448
PDF File Size: 3.91 Mb
ePub File Size: 19.85 Mb
ISBN: 868-4-37138-479-6
Downloads: 81039
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Moshura

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.

The narratives get anomic, as if Barzun himself has thought better of the initial posit. Part two opens with the ascent of Louis XIV and the rise of the nation state; it ends with the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.

Art and design books reviews. Jacquds quotes from these and other contemporaries are placed in bold in marginal sidebars that intrude on the left or right margins of the main text. Two particular works stand out in these respects: I have been reading it off and on for several years, and now that I am solidly past the halfway point, I wanted to get this little notice up here rather than wait another couple years when the treatment of the 20th century might, I fear, fatally discourage me.

He is brilliant at recreating the nuances and import of social and cultural trends, from the Reformation through the Age of Kings to the Enlightenment and French Revolution, to Romanticism and finally Modernism. It isn’t a book to read, it is a book to experience.

From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present

There’s plenty to recommend in this book. It is worth your time.


These From Dawn to Decadence is the masterwork of an accomplished author whose cultural knowledge is both broad and deep. The story starts with Luther because the religious revolution he began lit the fires of individualism that burned ever more brightly thereafter.

From Dawn to Decadence: Years of Western Cultural Life, to the Present by Jacques Barzun

Nevertheless, he relaxed his pace by occasionally narrating anecdotes. Dexadence as a substitute ti artistic creativity because everyone wants to be an artist, of course, and fraud is an apt substitute?

The present age, unquestionably suspicious of ideology, may appear bereft of vecadence and empty of meaning; but who knows, any day now another Luther may be posting a new set of incendiary propositions on the internet, making placemen and plutocrats quake. I started to read a few pages but i was just lost.

The longest book I have ever read, thanks to great number of “read more about it in X” detractions which forced me to read couple of great books in between and more left in in the queue. Of course, philosophy and politics fro, economics appear too. In Guns, Germs, And SteelJared Diamond blends science and history powerfully to argue the reasons for white Europeans temporal supremacy of the last five centuries.

The book could well have been titled “From Anticipation to Anxiety”. The author narrative style is quaintly and charmingly unique, highly original, somewhat old-fashioned and ornate, but pleasant and effective enough to make reading this book a generally highly pleasant experience — it just takes a little while to get fully used to it. For seven decadecne he has written and edited critical and historical studies on a wide variety of subjects.

The jaacques really focuses on England, France, and Germany. On the contrary, it is a very active time, full of deep concerns, but peculiarly restless, for it sees no clear lines of advance. Reading the book also makes me think history is the greatest field ever.


Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn To Decadence

It must also be said that many important philosophers do not get mentioned, while for example obscure writers get the attention of the author. Dec 11, Jamie rated it it was amazing Shelves: Cubism held some promise, but it soon devolved into abstraction and irony, so that by the 60s things like a painting of a soup can could be considered a masterpiece. Barzun sees the religious, monarchical, liberal and collectivist revolutions as a chain reaction triggered by increasing demands for individual rights.

Almost as forced as his demarcations of the last five centuries into four epochs. This only adds to the turgidity and turbidity of the writing and dialectic.

Jacques Barzun historian biography From Dawn to Decadence review

If you want a history book that tells you history focused on political leaders and war, there are other books. Or seeing no link between religion and modern capitalism? This vision, outlined in the sketchiest section of the book, only appears persuasive because of a trick of perspective. I have never read a history book in which everything weav The best book I have ever read in this year and for the last 20 years i.

Perhaps this is a decadence, but I hope I will live long enough to see it reborn. It would be a challenge to find another work that expresses so many ideas and educates so thoroughly while constantly engaging and barzzun the audience as this masterpiece does.

His rendering of the unique and utterly fascinating Venetian Republic is masterful.