From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life; 1500 to the Present
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 Crisis of the Old Order: 1919-1933 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol. 1)
The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933, volume one of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s Age of Roosevelt series, is the first of three books that interpret the political, economic, social, and intellectual history of the early twentieth century in terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the spokesman and symbol of the period. Portraying the United States from the Great War to the Great Depression, The Crisis of the Old Order covers the Jazz Age and the rise and fall of the cult of business. For a season, prosperity seemed permanent, but the illusion came to an end when Wall Street crashed in October 1929. Public trust in the wisdom of business leadership crashed too. With a dramatist’s eye for vivid detail and a scholar’s respect for accuracy, Schlesinger brings to life the era that gave rise to FDR and his New Deal and changed the public face of the United States forever.
The Coming of the New Deal: 1933-1935 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol. 2)
The Coming of the New Deal, 1933-1935, volume two of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s Age of Roosevelt series, describes Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first tumultuous years in the White House. Coming into office at the bottom of the Great Depression, FDR told the American people that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. The conventional wisdom having failed, he tried unorthodox remedies to avert economic collapse. His first hundred days restored national morale, and his New Dealers filled Washington with new approaches to recovery and reform. Combining idealistic ends with realistic means, Roosevelt proposed to humanize, redeem, and rescue capitalism. The Coming of the New Deal, written with Schlesinger’s customary verve, is a gripping account of critical years in the history of the republic.
The Politics of Upheaval: 1935-1936 (The Age of Roosevelt Vol. 3)
The Politics of Upheaval, 1935-1936, volume three of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.’s Age of Roosevelt series, concentrates on the turbulent concluding years of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term. A measure of economic recovery revived political conflict and emboldened FDR’s critics to denounce “that man in the White house.” To his left were demagogues — Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and Dr. Townsend. To his right were the champions of the old order — ex-president Herbert Hoover, the American Liberty League, and the august Supreme Court. For a time, the New Deal seemed to lose its momentum. But in 1935 FDR rallied and produced a legislative record even more impressive than the Hundred Days of 1933 — a set of statutes that transformed the social and economic landscape of American life. In 1936 FDR coasted to reelection on a landslide. Schlesinger has his usual touch with colorful personalities and draws a warmly sympathetic portrait of Alf M. Landon, the Republican candidate of 1936.
Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution
From one of the truly preeminent historians of our time, this is a landmark book chronicling the French Revolution. Simon Schama deftly refutes the contemporary notion that the French Revolution represented an uprising of the oppressed poor against a decadent aristocracy and corrupt court. He argues instead that the revolution was born of a rift among the elite over the speed of progress toward modernity and science, social and economic change. Schama’s approach, weaving in and out of private and public lives in the fashion of a novel, brings us closer than we have ever been to the harrowing and seductive French Revolution. A New York Times bestseller in hardcover. 200 illustrations.