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.

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He writes a good survey of fine arts.

It is the essential and probably first human fiction. Barrzun Barzun was born in and grew up in Paris and Grenoble, where his great-grandfather, a university professor, had settled to teach during the midth century.

Fortinbras says about Hamlet at his burial: Cubism held some promise, but it soon barzjn into abstraction and irony, so that by the 60s things like a painting of a soup can could be considered a masterpiece.

The author tells the emotional, passionate and jacquex story from the s to Barzun looks at history, specifically …more One could argue that this book is good for someone with your criterion: Without the human element there is no inherent value. The last 20 pages or so are so odd that I was dizzy.

Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn To Decadence

If one looks at the bibliography, it is stunning that any one person could have accessed all this knowledge. Admittedly, I did not finish this book, plodding through or so pages, and so cannot give this book decxdence fair, and thoroughgoing review it deserves considering its impressive scope.

Well, yeah, Barzun discusses a number of changes and barzu in the field, but that does not matter, because what I feel is that historian, at least one like Barzun, is able to stand out of life and time, critically, objectively, and yet not detached.


He gets that part of the story wrong or incomplete. I actually wish I kept some notes while reading it.

Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn To Decadence – The Satirist

The breath of knowledge that Watson displays is immense, and this bring outs some relationship between ideas that I have never thought of. A more decadfnce, and very widely acclaimed, bestseller is From Dawn to Decadence: These now are cultural norms – from the push-pull of regional conflicts to man-woman interactions – and Barzun was right to point this out. I guess I find it a shame that such a masterly cultural historian can find so little of value in the entire 20th century.

Barzun’s book, Dawn to Decadence, gives us both ends of this personal spectrum. Those folks who want a quick mystery or want to be entertained by a book will dawj enjoy this work at all.

But Barzun is too tough and too practical to indulge in kitschy boo-hooing like other authors who observe a downward trend to the graph of Western culture. In fact, he is so witty and he features in his book so many witty figures, that after reading the book, I am convinced that wittiness is the best and most attractive quality can ever be found in man.

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

He really likes William James as I doand he relates him to many 16th century thinkers. What seems to have troubled Barzun was the ephemeralization of culture as it began to manifest in the late and as it reached a crescendo in our modern times. Watson tended to write in an encyclopedic manner but his concise chapters, mostly coherent and thematic, saved him from being unduly pedantic.

It is one thing to have a well-earned opinion and apply it to your thesis, but Barzun’s repeated degradation of what he sees as “political correctness” at the expense of the white male status quo was troubling. Matt McClure One could argue that this book is good for someone with your criterion: Jan 02, Bob Nardo rated it it was amazing Recommended to Bob by: This book concludes his lifelong quest to relate historical events to cultural expression, and to understand the process of change.


Seeing the praise being lavished upon this work with so few exceptions, however, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give this a try.

From to it was the pursuit of political freedom and individual rights, culminating in the French Revolution. The problem was not that Marx was wrong with his idea of the Labor Theory Of Value, he just was not able to formulate a just and pragmatic remedy for it, and those applications by later practitioners of his ideas bastardized it to monstrous ends. Frankly, having read this work, I’m a bit embarassed to be writing a review.

He is my dream role model. It is, simply, a masterwork.

It has done so much to me, intellectually, artistically, and emotionally, that it deserves such a title. I would say–read the whole thing until he gets to his vision of today when he wrote the book.

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

View all 15 comments. He passed away in at the age of But I think it’s also because the book is genuinely insightful, reflective of the author’s deep knowledge of the pretty astounding range of subjects covered, and persuasive in its articulation and interpretation of broad cultural trends dwn themes and their significance.

Read it a seventh time and you will vow to return to the book as often as possible.