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From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of  Western Cultural Life
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From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (Paperback)

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The bestselling (New York Times No. 3) history chronicling half a millennium of Western culture.From Dawn To Decadence is the French-American historian Jacques Barzun's great opus. It is the product of a lifetime of separate studies which he now sets down in one powerful narrative, interspersing his entertaining analysis of wars, philosophy, science, manners, sex, religion, morals, art, et al, from the Reformation to the present day, with biographical sketches of influential historical figures (including Luther, Charles V, Descartes, Bacon, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Cromwell, Peter the Great, Defoe, Swift, Rubens, Bach, Byron, Pascal, Florence Nightingale, James Joyce...) His positive conclusion is that the decadence of the current age is merely a watershed for a new age in which Western culture will again flourish.This is heavyweight history written with great wit and verve, comparable in scope with the Big Ideas and Big Themes history of Paul Kennedy's Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which was a huge bestseller that was first `made' in the US, and Paul Johnson (The Birth of the Modern; Intellectuals; Twentieth Century Britain). With Barzun's lucid and easy style it is also a very accesible book which will be eagerly devoured by history and culture lovers alike.

History & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesCultural Studies Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication Date: 03/12/2001 ISBN-13: 9780007115501  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Jacques Barzun was born in France in 1907 and moved to the US in 1920. After graduating from Columbia University he joined its faculty as Professor of History, becoming Dean of Faculties and Provost. The author of over thirty books he received the Gold Medal for Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he was twice president.

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