The Decline of the West

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Oxford University Press, 1991 - Philosophy - 414 pages
18 Reviews
Since its first publication in two volumes between 1918-1923, The Decline of the West has ranked as one of the most widely read and most talked about books of our time. In all its various editions, it has sold nearly 100,000 copies. A twentieth-century Cassandra, Oswald Spengler thoroughly probed the origin and "fate" of our civilization, and the result can be (and has been) read as a prophesy of the Nazi regime. His challenging views have led to harsh criticism over the years, but the knowledge and eloquence that went into his sweeping study of Western culture have kept The Decline of the West alive. As the face of Germany and Europe as a whole continues to change each day, The Decline of the West cannot be ignored.
The abridgment, prepared by the German scholar Helmut Werner, with the blessing of the Spengler estate, consists of selections from the original (translated into English by Charles Francis Atkinson) linked by explanatory passages which have been put into English by Arthur Helps. H. Stuart Hughes has written a new introduction for this edition.
In this engrossing and highly controversial philosophy of history, Spengler describes how we have entered into a centuries-long "world-historical" phase comparable to late antiquity. Guided by the philosophies of Goethe and Nietzsche, he rejects linear progression, and instead presents a world view based on the cyclical rise and decline of civilizations. He argues that a culture blossoms from the soil of a definable landscape and dies when it has exhausted all of its possibilities.
Despite Spengler's reputation today as an extreme pessimist, The Decline of the West remains essential reading for anyone interested in the history of civilization.
  

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Review: The Decline of the West

User Review  - Frederich - Goodreads

This is an abridged version, but read it several years ago, and it did a fair job in presenting this intellectual Giant, to the massess of the twenty-first century. It definitely is a good read. Read full review

Review: The Decline of the West

User Review  - Pieter-Jan Beyul - Goodreads

It's impossible to review this monumental work in its entirety, as Spengler deals with such a vast array of ideas that one could use it as a reference for a myriad of studies on world history. It's a ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
THE MEANING OF NUMBERS
41
THE PROBLEM OF WORLDHISTORY
70
THE SYMBOLISM
87
APOLLINIAN
97
ACT AND PORTRAIT
135
Varieties of human portraiture 135 Hellenistic portraiture
149
the end
155
CITIES AND PEOPLES
245
PROBLEMS OF THE ARABIAN
268
PROBLEMS OF THE ARABIAN
299
PROBLEMS OF THE ARABIAN
319
THE PROBLEM
354
XVIIISTATE AND HISTORY
360
PHILOSOPHY OF POLITICS
382
THE FORMWORLD OF ECONOMIC
398

The Soulimage a function of the Worldimage 159
172
Every Culture possesses its own ethic 176 Faustian morale
178
Ethical Socialism
185
FAUSTIAN AND APOLLINIAN NATURE
188
XXITHE FORMWORLD OF ECONOMIC
409
INDEX follows page
415
Copyright

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About the author (1991)


Oswald Spengler, one of the most controversial historians of this century, was born in Blankenburg, Germany in 1880 and died in Munich in 1936.
H. Stuart Hughes is Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of California at San Diego. He is the author of many books, including Oswald Spengler: A Critical Estimate, Consciousness and Society and, most recently, Sophisticated Rebels.

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