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Modern Times Revised Edition: The World from…

Modern Times Revised Edition: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties… (1984)

by Paul Johnson

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My edition is through the Eighties. Paul Johnson writes tomes of history, and this is no exception. The topic is broad, and he covers a lot, but with enough depth to satisfy. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
A breathtaking book that covers major historical events/trends from the twenties to the eighties. Paul Johnson manages somehow to tie everything together and present it in a package that makes sense and is a terrific read. It's not for the faint of heart however, each page is densely packed with information that takes terribly long to digest, but the effort is well worth it. ( )
  bhuesers | Mar 29, 2017 |
Paul Johnson is a great historian. ( )
  RobertP | Feb 18, 2015 |
A very readable account of the 20th century. I was fascinated by the account of constant warfare between Serbs, Albanians and in the Baltics. Two world wars didn't change much. ( )
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
Paul Johnson is a British journalist, a believing Catholic--and a conservative. That will put some people off--although it's notable I saw more than one review from readers who said in spite of that they found this book incisive and readable. For me it wasn't something off-putting but something I sought out. Having grown up on Manhattan's Upper West Side from kindergarten to college I was exposed almost exclusively to a left-wing narrative of history. I wanted to hear from the other side, and yes you can detect a right-of-center sensibility here. But for that very reason I found invaluable a slant on history that was new to me. And actually a lot related here new to me that isn't necessarily left or right--but just history that, perhaps because Johnson is British, is more rounded and less Americancentric.

I remember in particular his take on the Perons, glamorized in the musical Evita. I was astonished really to learn that at the end of World War Two, Argentina had a standard of living, balance of trade and sound currency comparable to the United States or Great Britain--before the Perons got hold of it. What a might-have-been--if Argentina had not fallen to the Peron from of state one imagines it could have provided a model and source of stability to all of Latin America. I had thought it had always been some poor, banana republic even before Peron--very much not the case. It's surprising little tidbits like this that made the book so worthwhile. ( )
1 vote LisaMaria_C | Sep 5, 2013 |
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"Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron;
thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings:
by instructed, ye judges of the earth".
- Psalms, 2:9-10
This book is dedicated to the memory of my father, W.A.Johnson, artist, educator and enthusiast.
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The modern world began on 20 May 1919 when photographs of a solar eclipse, taken on the island of Principe off West Africa and at Sobral in Brazil, confirmed the truth of a new theory of the universe.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060935502, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:29 -0400)

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Covers a seventy year span in chronological essays. Includes master index.

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