From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life 1500 to the Present

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HarperCollins, May 15, 2001 - History - 912 pages
140 Reviews

Highly regarded here and abroad for some thirty works of cultural history and criticism, master historian Jacques Barzun has now set down in one continuous narrative the sum of his discoveries and conclusions about the whole of Western culture since 1500.

In this account, Barzun describes what Western Man wrought from the Renaisance and Reformation down to the present in the double light of its own time and our pressing concerns. He introduces characters and incidents with his unusual literary style and grace, bringing to the fore those that have "Puritans as Democrats," "The Monarch's Revolution," "The Artist Prophet and Jester" -- show the recurrent role of great themes throughout the eras.

The triumphs and defeats of five hundred years form an inspiring saga that modifies the current impression of one long tale of oppression by white European males. Women and their deeds are prominent, and freedom (even in sexual matters) is not an invention of the last decades. And when Barzun rates the present not as a culmination but a decline, he is in no way a prophet of doom. Instead, he shows decadence as the creative novelty that will burst forth -- tomorrow or the next day.

Only after a lifetime of separate studies covering a broad territory could a writer create with such ease the synthesis displayed in this magnificent volume.

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A very readable overview of Western Civ. - Goodreads
Excellent introduction to western cultural history. - Goodreads
Barzun is readable and has good insights. - Goodreads
He was vastly knowledgeable and researched. - Goodreads
Anecdotal, fascinating, overview history. - Goodreads
Use it for reference now. - Goodreads

Review: From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

Big sweeping book about the past several hundred years. Anecdotal, fascinating, overview history. Read full review

Review: From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present

User Review  - Mark - Goodreads

To summarize would be redundant. I'll only add: (This book is a loyal, dog-eared treasure chest that sits in its own spot bedside; when interested in a brief mind-workout and endorphin rush, one can ... Read full review

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Reading Notes Revisited #1: From Dawn To Decadence by Jacques ...
From Dawn To Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life: 1500 to the Present by Jacques Barzun. 877 pp. Harper Collins, 2000. ...
matthewasprey.wordpress.com/ 2007/ 11/ 14/ reading-notes-revisited-from-dawn-to-decadence-by-jacques-barzun/

The Ugley Vicar: On finishing Barzun's 'From Dawn to Decadence'
I have just finished reading Jacques Barzun’s monumental From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, and find myself with mixed feelings of ...
ugleyvicar.blogspot.com/ 2008/ 04/ on-finishing-barzuns-from-dawn-to.html

From Dawn to Decadence - Andrew Delbanco - Slate Magazine
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Salon.com Books | Decline and fall
7, 2000 | "From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life," Jacques Barzun's much-praised doorstop of knowledge, is probably the liveliest work ...
archive.salon.com/ books/ feature/ 2000/ 08/ 07/ barzun/ index.html

Dan Schneider on Jacques Barzun's From Dawn To Decadence
B308-DES248. Review Of From Dawn To Decadence, by Jacques Barzun. Copyright © by Dan Schneider, 1/13/06. From Dawn To Decadence, by Jacques Barzun, ...
www.cosmoetica.com/ B308-DES248.htm

Notes from Barzun's From Dawn To Decadence :: Scott Granneman
Notes from Jacques Barzun's From Dawn To Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life: 1500 to the Present. Martin Luther posted 95 Theses on door of All ...
www.granneman.com/ personal/ commonplacebook/ history/ barzunfromdawntodecadence.htm

From Dawn to Decadence: 100 Years of Jacques Barzun - ivygate: The ...
ivygate blog - Ivy League news, gossip, sex, sports, students, campus life and more at Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Penn, ...
www.ivygateblog.com/ blog/ 2007/ 12/ from_dawn_to_decadence_100_years_of_jacques_barzun.html

FIRST THINGS: A Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life
From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (1500 to the Present). by John J. Reilly. Copyright (c) 2000 First Things (November 2000). ...
www.firstthings.com/ article.php3?id_article=2683

From Dawn to Decadence - THE FORUM for Ayn Rand Fans
Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register ). > THE FORUM for Ayn Rand Fans > VALUES > YOU RATE IT > Add Non-Fiction Book to Rate ...
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From dawn to decadence : 500 years of western cultural life : 1500 ...
Alles über From dawn to decadence : 500 years of western cultural life : 1500 to the present von Jacques Barzun. librarything ist eine Webseite, ...
www.librarything.de/ work/ 2543

About the author (2001)

Born in France in 1907, Jacques Barzun came to the United States in 1920. After graduating from Columbia College, he joined the faculty of the university, becoming Seth Low Professor of History and, for a decade, Dean of Faculties and Provost. The author of some thirty books, including the New York Times bestseller From Dawn to Decadence, he received the Gold Medal for Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he was twice president. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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