- Paperback: 870 pages
- Publisher: HarperPerennial; 1st edition (June 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060922834
- ISBN-13: 978-0060922832
- Product Dimensions: 2 x 5.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 179 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,261,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties, Revised Edition 1st Edition
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The history of the 20th century is marked by two great narratives: nations locked in savage wars over ideology and territory, and scientists overturning the received wisdom of preceding generations. For Paul Johnson, the modern era begins with one of the second types of revolutions, in 1919, when English astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington translated observations from a solar eclipse into proof of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which turned Newtonian physics on its head. Eddington's research became an international cause célèbre: "No exercise in scientific verification, before or since, has ever attracted so many headlines or become a topic of universal conversation," Johnson writes, and it made Einstein into science's first real folk hero.
Einstein looms large over Johnson's narrative, as do others who sought to harness the forces of nature and society: men like Mao Zedong, "a big, brutal, earthy and ruthless peasant," and Adolf Hitler, creator of "a brutal, secure, conscience-less, successful, and, for most Germans, popular regime." Johnson takes a contentious conservative viewpoint throughout: he calls the 1960s "America's suicide attempt," deems the Watergate affair "a witch-hunt ... run by liberals in the media," and deems the rise of Margaret Thatcher a critical element in Western civilization's "recovery of freedom"--arguable propositions all, but ones advanced in a stimulating and well-written narrative that provides much food for thought in the course of its more than 800 pages. --Gregory McNamee
"A marvelously incisive and synthesizing account." -- -- David Gress, Commentary
"A work of intellect and imagination." -- -- Stephen Spender, The Atlantic
"Johnson's insights are often briliant and of value in their startling freshness." -- -- Peter Loewenberg, Los Angeles Times
"A marvelously incisive and synthesizing account." -- David Gress, Commentary
"A work of intellect and imagination." -- Stephen Spender, The Atlantic
"Frequently surprises, even startles us with new views ofd past events and fresh looks at the characters of the chief world movers and shakers, in politics, the military, economics, science, religion, and philosophy of six decades." -- Edmund Fuller, Wall Street Journal
"Johnson's insights are often briliant and of value in their startling freshness." -- Peter Loewenberg, Los Angeles Times
"Truly a distinguished work of history...Modern Times unites historical and critical consciousness. It is far from being a simple chronicle, though a vast wealth of events and personages and historical changes fill it....We can take a great deal of intellectual pleasure in this book." -- Robert A. Nisbet,New York Times Book Review
"Wide-ranging and quirky, this history of our times (since World War I) hits all the highlights and hot spots: the Russian Revolution, the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the 1980s...A letter-day Mencken, Johnson is witty, gritty, and compulsively readable." -- Foreign Affairs
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state.Details achievements of those who made things right via freedom)
Except that they don't.
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Johnson's analysis of the between the end of World War I and the start of World War II is outstanding - best ever.Read more