Modern Times Revised Edition: World from the Twenties to the Nineties, The

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Harper Collins, Aug 7, 2001 - History - 880 pages
3 Reviews

The classic world history of the events, ideas, and personalities of the twentieth century.

 

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Paul Johnson's history of the 20th century is highly readable, filled with interesting anecdotes and an impressive array of dates, figures, and quotations. He argues compellingly for his point of view, and makes complex situations accessible. But the forcefulness of his style masks serious defects in the integrity of his work. He ignores large parts of the historical narrative, jumps to conclusions, and contemptuously dismisses phenomena that might arouse the curiosity of a more genuine scholar. He never lies, but he never tells the whole truth either. What Paul Johnson has written is a superb political tract from the perspective of a reactionary conservative. Understood for what it is, Modern Times is a highly informative, highly readable guide to a particular view of the 20th century, and I definitely recommend it. But the reader should always be on his guard against Johnson's habit of never telling the whole truth. 

Contents

A Relativistic World
1
The First Despotic Utopias
49
Waiting for Hitler
104
Legitimacy in Decadence
138
An Infernal Theocracy a Celestial Chaos
176
The Last Arcadia
203
Dégringolade
230
The Devils
261
Peace by Terror
432
The Bandung Generation
466
Calibans Kingdoms
506
Experimenting with Half Mankind
544
The European Lazarus
575
Americas Suicide Attempt
613
The Collectivist Seventies
659
The Recovery of Freedom
697

The High Noon of Aggression
309
The End of Old Europe
341
The Watershed Year
372
Superpower and Genocide
398
Source Notes
785
Index
841
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About the author (2001)

Paul Johnson is a historian whose work ranges over the millennia and the whole gamut of human activities. He regularly writes book reviews for several UK magazines and newspapers, such as the Literary Review and The Spectator, and he lectures around the world. He lives in London, England.

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