Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties

The best Modern Times The World f

The best Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties Author PaulJohnson go inside Book Paul Johnson works as a historian, journalist and author He was educated at Stonyhurst School in Clitheroe, Lancashire and Magdalen College, Oxford, and first came to prominence in the 1950s as a journalist writing for, and later editing, the New Statesman magazine He has also written for leading newspapers and magazines in Britain, the US and Europe.Paul Johnson has published over 40 books including A History of Christianity 1979 , A History of the English People 1987 , Intellectuals 1988 , The Birth of the Modern World Society, 1815 1830 1991 , Modern Times A History of the World from the 1920s to the Year 2000 1999 , A History of the American People 2000 , A History of the Jews 2001 and Art A New History 2003 as well as biographies of Elizabeth I 1974 , Napoleon 2002 , George Washington 2005 and Pope John Paul II 1982.. Originally published in 1983 and named one of the Best Books of the Year by the New York Times, this bestselling history is now revised and updated and includes a new final chapter Truly a distinguished work of historyModern Times unites historical and critical consciousness It is far from being a simple chronicle, though a vast wealth of events and personages and hiOriginally published in 1983 and named one of the Best Books of the Year by the New York Times, this bestselling history is now revised and updated and includes a new final chapter Truly a distinguished work of historyModern 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. Popular Kindle Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties An agnostic wag once said, "Any fool can make fun of evangelicals, but if you really want to see a crazed doctrine, look for a conservative Catholic, preferably a conservative Jesuit." This certainly holds true for Paul Johnson, who mars what could have been a superbly written book of breathtaking scope, with points of view that aren't merely limited or blinkered, but downright crazed at times.In the first couple chapters, I was ready to give this book an instant 5 stars, due to the author's ability to integrate economic, cultural, and political trends in a coherent whole. I did not begrudge him his tendency to paint all collectivist thought with a broad brush, if only because the world needed an appropriately sober look at the crimes of Lenin as well as Stalin.But by the time we get to the 1930s, Johnson's oddball rejection of all modernist trends became a bit much to take. If he had been a traditional social conservative, or an economic conservative of the Stockman-Laffer school, one could accept his biases and move on. But Johnson is just plain weird, combining a Libertarian-like view of the power of the individual and a rejection of economic collectivism, with a near-devout belief in the power of empire. He rightly chides particular failures of the British empire in decline, like Anthony Eden's 1956 failure at Suez, but at the same time longs for a British and an American empire that would assert itself without regard to the consequences.In his review of the 1930s, it's no surprise that he'd call FDR an aristocratic publicity-seeker and populist quack, and he'd be right in part. It's also predictable that he'd link the elder Philby's adventures in the Middle East to young Kim Philby's dalliances with the KGB. But to link all strands of 1930s liberal thought to the gay dilettantes of the Bloomsbury group in the UK? Not only does this hold a latent homophobia which Johnson displays throughout the book, but it attributes too much power to this group, in the same way modern conservatives are sure all 21st-century left-wingers have read Saul Alinsky. It just ain't so, folks.Johnson's fractured-funhouse view of current events veers out of control as we hit the 1950s and 1960s. His analyses of Castro and other socialist "heroes" are traditional conservative views, not that far off base but not particularly interesting. But his demonization of former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold as the man who allowed Third World risings and non-alignment to get out of hand is downright laughable. Memo to Johnson: whether the Soviets manipulated Third World struggle or not, the traditional empires were bound to fall - there wasn't a thing the US or UK could have done to retain their protected domains. At least Piers Brendon, the author of 'Decline and Fall of the British Empire', understood this far better than Johnson did, and provided a far more accurate narrative of the British geographical decline in the 20th century as a result.The last 100 pages of Johnson's book are comical enough to skip entirely. Of course the strikes at the end of the 1970s doomed Britain, but only a fool still sees Maggie Thatcher as a savior. Of course the liberal media manipulated Watergate, but to try and call John Sirica a "judicial terrorist" is beyond the pale. Face it, seeing Nixon and Reagan as unvarnished heroes of the century, while seeing Jimmy Carter as an unvarnished villain, is a nonsensical two-dimensional view of the world.Even in the latter chapters of the book, I enjoyed seeing Keynesianism get a tweaking, I loved the way Johnson linked Jean-Paul Sartre with Nazism and commented that all romanticism is close to fascism (which I certainly believe to be the case with Rousseau, Goethe, Schiller, Byron, Shelley, etc.). And I loved his quote about Utopianism being not that far from gangsterism. But Johnson ruins what would have been a provocative book in the Christoper Hitchens tradition with a series of loony conclusions about human behavior that are downright unsustainable, no matter what your political or economic beliefs may be.

  1. Paul Johnson works as a historian, journalist and author He was educated at Stonyhurst School in Clitheroe, Lancashire and Magdalen College, Oxford, and first came to prominence in the 1950s as a journalist writing for, and later editing, the New Statesman magazine He has also written for leading newspapers and magazines in Britain, the US and Europe.Paul Johnson has published over 40 books including A History of Christianity 1979 , A History of the English People 1987 , Intellectuals 1988 , The Birth of the Modern World Society, 1815 1830 1991 , Modern Times A History of the World from the 1920s to the Year 2000 1999 , A History of the American People 2000 , A History of the Jews 2001 and Art A New History 2003 as well as biographies of Elizabeth I 1974 , Napoleon 2002 , George Washington 2005 and Pope John Paul II 1982.

616 Reply to “Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties”

  1. An agnostic wag once said, Any fool can make fun of evangelicals, but if you really want to see a crazed doctrine, look for a conservative Catholic, preferably a conservative Jesuit This certainly holds true for Paul Johnson, who mars what could have been a superbly written book of breathtaking scope, with points of view that aren t merely limited or blinkered, but downright crazed at times.In the first couple chapters, I was ready to give this book an instant 5 stars, due to the author s abilit [...]


  2. CONFESSIONS OF A HISTORY ADDICT Knowing my wife isn t keen on reading history Icertainly noticed when she added Modern Times The World from the Twenties to the Nineties to the take to the used bookstore pile When I queriedwhat she was doing with a history book hopefully not toooffensively she replied I was going to read it back when I wanted to be smarter Since we were trying to clear the shelves off a bit,I hesitated on keeping it, plus it was the size of a brick,or two Not that I haven t read [...]


  3. Si crees que no se pod a contar la historia del mundo en el siglo XX en algo menos de 800 p ginas te has equivocado S , yo mismo me equivoqu No he le do en mi vida a nadie con tanta capacidad de s ntesis, de an lisis y de profundidad, y que puede contarlo al mismo tiempo con esa forma tan campechan y tranquila como quien se despereza No se nota el esfuerzo Este libro no se lee, se absorve Comenzando antes de la 1 Guerra Mundial el autor toma el hilo de la historia con calma pero sin pausa, y cap [...]


  4. A conservative s view on modern history I didn t like it because it only told one side of the story and was biased The value in the book is how Johnson emphasizes and shows the importance of individuals in history Mao and Chiang Ka Sheck hated each other and this precipitated the fall of China to communism It was not inevitable He also points out the importance of the example of the free west, mainly America It was interesting to read these exact same sentiments in recent issues of Foreign Affai [...]


  5. Finally finished this one It s such a thick read that I had to read a chapter at a time interspersed with other reading Modern Times is a history of the 20th century, or, precisely, from Einstein s theory of relativity to the Gulf War Paul Johnson is a British Roman Catholic historian intellectual of a decidedly conservative bent And by conservative I mean of the old school type free markets, individual responsibility, very limited government in the lives of citizens, and pro traditional Judeo [...]


  6. Tory historian wishes the modern world would just go away This is one of the most brilliant, readable, and exciting history books I have ever read Paul Johnson does a worldwide survey of the wars and upheavals of the 20th century, covering whole continents in alternating chapters With thrilling scope, he goes from tribal wars in Africa to the defeat of Germany to the rise of Hitler to militarism in Japan, and then back to Prohibition in the USA, Roosevelt and the New Deal all the time connectin [...]


  7. A grand thousand page history just the way I like em Covers many interlocked subjects and discusses them all in an imaginative and brilliant style Flows freely from one subject to the other, and includes miniature portraits of the towering figures of the time.Be warned, this book was written in the latter part of the 20th century, and the author has a fiscal conservative view Perhaps then it could be justified, as capitalism was at the time a lesser evil than totalitarianism but now the excesses [...]


  8. Galvanizing when I first read it Re visiting it, I could not finish, to be honest.But I would still recommend it as a kind of everything you know is wrong book, especially for anyone who learned 20th C history in American high school.


  9. What I liked most about this history was Johnson s description of how matters stood before modern times , particularly his description of the prodigies of walking customarily performed by our ancestors The rest of the book strongly conveys the sense that its author is very conservative which indeed Johnson is, being both a Conservative British journalist and a believing Catholic Although I find this occasionally off putting, he is a very good writer and his books have generally been enjoyable as [...]


  10. Excellent historical analysis of the twentieth century Johnson s strength is to combine economics, politics, culture, science, technology and other strands of human endeavour into a cohesive narrative of events Highly recommended as a conservative perspective on the 20s 00s.



  11. This book accomplished thoroughly what it set out to do tell world history from after the Great War to the time of writing It put periods I have read a lot about, like Europe before and during WWII, in a clearer context, and introduced me to too many subplots to even begin to remember Some highlights The spread and effects of communism The loss of life and general chaos were on a scale I never imagined I knew it was bad, but to read the details of what happened in Russia, China, Cuba, and nation [...]


  12. This is the book that got me interested in world history It isn t dry, with a lot of tidbits thrown in He also has a premise woven throughout the book, that with the change from moral thinking to relative thinking, there was a huge shift in culture and history Including wars etc However he isnt heavy handed about his premise, and instead of being biased, he just points out a supporting fact periodically It s a book that made WORLD history real to me, instead of something full of dates and politi [...]


  13. I never liked twentieth century history, but once I started this book, I gobbled it up Johnson is a fantastic history teller, with facts and wit and a sense of humor and of the importance of the human drama He doesn t pretend to be objective , if that means not making judgments or not caring about whether human actions are good or bad He takes strong positions, frequently challenging liberal mythology, and supports them with many facts that allow the reader to begin making his own judgments At l [...]




  14. If you thought the history of the world during the whole 20th century could not be told in about 800 pages, and told well, you were wrong I, myself, was wrong I haven t read from anybody with such capacity for pithiness and depth of analysis at the same time, and who can tell a story in such an easy to read way It seems it took him no effort to get through, which obviously, for the amount of work and research put into it, cannot be so You don t read this book, you soak it in Starting before the [...]


  15. Thoroughly enjoyed this book I want to read everything by this author He has such an unbelievable grasp on an amazing amount of topics He truly gives a thorough education on the twentieth century I listened to it on audiobook Probably would have been better to read but worked fine as audiobook I probably just missed some of the profound, difficult ideas which leads me to my only issue w the book My only knock on the book the author fails, at times, to communicate his profound ideas in simple la [...]


  16. Paul Johnson is a great writer and incisive historian He doesn t merely tell you what happened He analyzes events, explains why they occurred, and even, at times, what may have happened otherwise.His books do take some effort to get through Long sentences, long paragraphs, long chapters all with no breaks Most books now are divided into two to three page segments, for easier and quicker reading, but this book defied that trend But the reward is worth the struggle Believe me, if you want to learn [...]


  17. If you have come to this point, where something has intrigued you enough about Paul Johnson s history of the Twentieth Century to the degree that you are reading reviews about it, then I say go ahead and take the plunge For some, it might be necessary to read Howard Zinn afterwards, just to balance back out the idea is that neither of these two should be taken at face value, though they can be persuasive The important thing to remember is that, depending on your private views, facts are subject [...]


  18. Paul Johnson s analysis of modern history in Modern Times The World from the Twenties to the Eighties is perceptive and cogent and very readable His world view is strongly free market and pro individual freedom, so I personally appreciated and agreed with his conclusions, but readers who subscribe to a collectivist world view and desire a world run by big government attempts at social engineering would find Johnson s analysis less agreeable The book is dense and meaty, and requires its readers [...]


  19. Though I admit that it is comprehensive and spans a wide variety of topics deftly, certain details were presented as fact when they were opinion I was frustrated at how the author used his own opinion to gloss over unknowns That being said it was extremely helpful in putting the stories of each region of the world in relation to one another It also made fascinating compariaons throughout for example he touches on how extremists have similarities even while some are viewed as evil and some as mor [...]


  20. Una obra maestra, un prodigio de concisi n y sabidur a para resumir en 600 p ginas la historia del siglo XX, el peor siglo de la historia de la humanidad El an lisis de Johnson de las personalidades pol ticas que han destacado en los cinco continentes no deja t tere con cabeza, en toda la obra se hace patente su desprecio por la ingenier a social, de todo tipo Johnson sabe dar un punto de vista novedoso a toda la historia del horrible siglo XX, fijando los leit motivs que impregnan las ideolog a [...]


  21. OK It took me almost 2 years of reading this off and on to finish it That is why I only gave it 3 stars when maybe it deserves 4 Highly recommended by my brother, who could probably read this in less than a week I just don t have a head for history like he does But this was very well written, and I learned so much that I didn t know before Well worth it.


  22. This was the first historical book I ever read that wasn t assigned by a teacher I felt so grown up reading through this book It s based on an interesting take on modernity when it started in particular It is in no way an alternative history It s very much concerned with politics and wars, but I was a young boy and that was just fine with me.


  23. If you re into bullshit, read this book According to Johnson, Calvin Coolidge was a great president and FDR was a screwball Johnson is a complete and utter right wing moron I hope he shares a room with Limbaugh and Beck in the nuthouse If I could give it less than one star, I would.


  24. A totaly useless book Far from the facts, always giving one side and simple version of all the main events of the century, it looks like a neo cons 101 manual than like an actual history book.


  25. Paul Johnson is a historian to be read Modern Times is about the 20th century Ambitious Absolutely Successful Completely This is a thick book It will take time to read But read you should.


  26. A fabulous book I first read this when I was an intern working in DC I have re read it many times It reiterated to me the unanticipated consequences of government action.


  27. I do know that a historian is never totally objective or value free, even if you try You always think and write from certain points of view, consciously or not.Paul Johnson doesn t even try to be objective, or claim to do that This is a totally conservative, Anglo Saxon, Judeo Christian right wing review of the 20th century Well and clearly written, but totally one sided.Nothing good ever comes from moral relativism, Big Government, Africa, Asia or South America Pinochet is an exception All Demo [...]


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