Modern Times Revised Edition: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties (Perennial Classics)
The classic world history of the events, ideas, and personalities of the twentieth century.
A conservative looks at the 20th Century
By Smallchief - August 26, 2005
Paul Johnson is opinionated and a good writer and this history is very readable. "National Review" named it one of the top 100 books of the century and, although I'm not a political conservative, I found myself in agreement with much of what Johnson says.
"Modern Times" begins with the end of World War I and focuses on the personality of actors on history rather than impersonal trends or philosophies of history. Johnson sums up his own philosophy with a quote from Alexander Pope: "The proper study of mankind is man." His opinion of the 20th century cast of characters is scathing more often than not.
He trashes Woodrow Wilson -- a sound judgment in my opinion -- defends Harding, claims Coolidge was a good President, is lukewarm toward Hoover, considers Roosevelt frivolous and empty-headed, favors Truman, and adores Eisenhower. Churchill is his great hero. The totalitarians -- Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler -- are depicted as venal gangsters. Johnson is... read more
By Gaston Yalonetzky - April 22, 2000
Johnson's Modern times is a must read: full of interesting information and reasonings, entertaining, and highly controversial. Since History is told from a conservative perspective in this book, many will find it provocative, maybe even unfair. And, these kind of critics might be correct in some aspects. Yet Johnson's book deserves to be read because it provides very bright ideas which must be taken into account when discussing about the history of the 20th century. For example, it is very interesting Johnson's analysis on why the allies threw the bomb on Japanese cities and what was the real dimension of the tragedy beneath this. Moreover, Johnson helps us understand difficult periods of the century like the rise of the nazi regime and the success of Khomeini in Iran. Finally, though it is true that some won't like the way Johnson treats popular personalities like Gandhi or Freud, He deserves to be recognized for his effort to bring ethical considerations when thinking... read more
The History of Woe and Wishes
By Avid Reader - November 10, 2002
The liberal view of history is so widespread that any deviation is subject to immediate criticism. Johnson goes after modern cultural icons with vigor, examining and reassessing all the way. He has perfected a writing style that is highly readable and entertaining with common components: Broad assumptions, intricate details supporting his idea and unique, incredibly interesting biographies of those that made a difference - known or unknown. The 20th century IS the collectivist century. Every variant of collectivism from communism, fascism, tribalism, socialism and religious classism has been tried with catastrophic results. The eagerness with which "leaders" (most from academia) experimented on whole populations is truly horrific. Glowing theories always gave way to human suffering. Millions have been sacrificed in the name of collectivism just this century - USSR, China, Germany, Cambodia, Turkey, Africa...Oddly, speaking ill of this most anti-democratic "theory" is seen... read more
Here's an exciting trip around the world, written and illustrated for boys and girls who are just beginning to learn about different people from different lands. Though millions of people live on our ...