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: Taugore Daibar
Country: Algeria
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Health and Food
Published (Last): 1 March 2010
Pages: 73
PDF File Size: 7.41 Mb
ePub File Size: 2.78 Mb
ISBN: 743-1-75699-276-9
Downloads: 20995
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kajizil

Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn To Decadence

If the present really is decadent, getting here was a wild ride, and Barzun is a wonderful guide to the highlights along the way. Barzun guides the reader through conflicting views of history, highlighting the existence of particular themes in the last five hundred years of Western cultural life. Lists with This Book. His discussion of music, for example, focuses largely on abstract experimentalists such as John Cage – jazz and blues get a passing mention, while punk dscadence electronika get nothing at all, even though any one of those movements had a greater political, social, and cultural weight than the experimental evolutions of “classical” music.

The age of entropy

Everybody since Coleridge has concentrated on Hamlet’s character and forgotten his situation. What more can we ask for? I was still bogged down in an engineering career then, had divorced my first wife and 2. He can neither ignore the range of forces that propel the evolvements of ideas.

I have always found Tocqueville’s diagnosis or warning along these lines to be profoundly insightful about the modern condition. The fourth was the social revolutions of the 20 th century. Art and design books reviews. I didn’t want it to end. While the American, French, and Russian Revolutions have been done to death, it serves no purpose to short shrift them, as if all readers are aware of their import. 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.

With that focus, Barzun uses the historical pretext to uncover the kind of truths about life that can only be found in philosophical works.


Only an aerial view of the flows of idea could show such connections. I knew he was conservative and in most of the book it is the kind of conservative one can live with. As a result, there is little space left for Watson to step back and see the overall picture.

The produce of a life of studied reflection. Killing a king accepted by the populace is not a bagatelle. The present cannot be judged in the same way as the past;, and only make sense with hindsight. A more recent, and very widely acclaimed, bestseller is From Dawn to Decadence: The second was the monarchal revolution of the 17 th century, with the recognition of the nation as a meaningful entity.

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

Nothing tp sacred religious or otherwise. Art, literature, philosophy, politics – all these and more – began to reach deep within the global hodgepodge to find some common, barzkn ground. Just a few examples: Barzun traces the intellectual history of Western Civilization since its “Dawn” with the birth of the printing press and consequent proliferation of ideas.

There are so many surprising things in here that its density is delightful. This goes from toand the French Revolution. Barzun excelled his job at narrating intellectual history with some over-arching themes in his mind, but he is occasionally inept at outlining concepts in an understandable or meaningful manner.

Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom, empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of his manifold spirit to the manifold world. As is his ceaseless neologizing without purpose, substituting techne for technology or eutopia for utopia. Personalities, social changes, history and intellectual climate must be all taken into account.

From to it was the pursuit of political freedom and individual rights, culminating in the French Revolution.

Attached to some of the names, but also quite independent elements in themselves, are the nine themes decadenec this book presents: And what a mind. The problem is that Watson packed his prose with too much information. Although the s was a time of cultural fecundity, Barzun rightly notes that most of the developments had occurred before World War I, but did not achieve popular recognition until after the war.


Do not read this book hoping to get a fresh reiteration of what we learn in modern media or even what we learn in school about what was important in our history, especially of the 20th century. And he has his mother to consider. Read it a seventh time and you will vow to return to the book as often as possible.

Jcques 20th Century social revolution that established collective individualism, a working out of the effects of the first three revolutions that is still underway, even after the establishment and partial dismantling of massive socialism in political organization. Not only the book is comprehensive in knowledge, it is also a beautiful literary work.

This one was a bit of an impulse buy. It must also be said that many important philosophers do not get mentioned, while for example obscure writers get the attention of the frpm. I think one of Barzun’s ideas with this book is to be able to get an idea of baarzun as a whole by learning about the individuals constituting that history, and then extrapolating modern or future conditions. For seven decades he has written and edited critical and historical studies on a wide variety of subjects.

See 1 question about From Dawn to Decadence….

Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn To Decadence – The Satirist

Are 20th century works weaker than their predecessors by an order of magnitude? Born in or not, he was writing in the s and clearly did not grasp that the changes wrought by “political correctness” in many ways enhanced the cultural landscape rather than curtailing it. Being so thoroughly a product of this decadent era, I have to make an ironic comment: In this later work Barzun divides the period in western cultural history into four large segments.

A great deal of our current social angst has its roots in our clinging belief in practices that led to many of western society’s earlier stages: But the thought is always prior to the fact; all the facts of history preexist in the mind as laws.