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The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830

The Birth of the Modern World Society From the prizewinning author of Modern Times comes an extraordinary chronicle of the period that laid the foundations of the modern world

  • Title: The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830
  • Author: PaulJohnson
  • ISBN: 9780060922825
  • Page: 389
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the prizewinning author of Modern Times comes an extraordinary chronicle of the period that laid the foundations of the modern world.

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    1 thought on “The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830

    1. A brilliant book by Paul Johnson, best known for "Modern Times". In this book Johnson looks at the world in the time period 1815-1830, from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the start of the railroad age. He covers a wide number of subjects, political, social, financial, artistic and others. It's an easy book to read, since every chapter stands on it's own. It's full of "gee, I didn't know that!" moments, which is what makes history fun for me. Well worth reading.

    2. I find it hard to review three star books; there’s less to rave about or rant about.Paul Johnson certainly has studied widely and describes changes across politics, transportation, science, art, and literature. But his conservative slant is so overwhelming that I had my feet dug in the whole way. And a thousand pages is a long way. The book is very anglocentric in its content and terminology, although it discusses the emerging American democracy fairly thoroughly. He is rabidly (hysterically) [...]

    3. An outstanding piece of work - covers most of world history from 1815 - 1830 - a real tour de force. Goes into a wide range of detail from politics, industrial development & science, arts, music etc. Cannot recommend it highly enough. It's around 1,000 pages - I read it in two massive lumps about half each with around ten years gap between them - just finished it last year and got through the remaining half in about two days.

    4. A rich and exhaustively researched book that charts the major changes in a critical period, 1815-1830, that forms the base for much of our present culture. Paul Johnson has a truly comprehensive mind and the book is well worth the effort it takes to read it, even at exactly 1000 pages.Having said that, I was disappointed by the number of typos and other text errors-something like three dozen. This is the level of production errors that I would expect from a self-published book that had not had t [...]

    5. I have been an admirer of Paul Johnson since reading A History of the American People, and always buy his books as I come across them in book sales. That led me to Modern Times, probably the most interesting history book I have ever read, and then to this, The Birth of the Modern, World Society 1815-1830. Mr. Johnson is still as readable as ever, and the scholarship in this book is extraordinary. But, I was a little concerned as to what one could find to fill 1,000 pages relating to this relativ [...]

    6. I keep going back and rereading parts of this book because it is so informative and so well written. It is a remarkably comprehensive view of world history in the fifteen years from 1815-1830. Think of the authors, scientists, statesmen, generals, artists, reformers, and composers you know from the era and imagine a narrative that weaves them together with a sharp understanding of how they each changed the world. Johnson ties it all together without being boring for longer than a page. And for a [...]

    7. This is very likely the finest work of history I've ever read, eclipsing even The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Enlightenment Contested. An absolute masterpiece.

    8. Review title: The end of the world as they knew itJohnson takes a small slice of time and spends 1,000 pages documenting the political, scientific, technical, financial, cultural, and artistic people, places, and events. There are two keys to making this narrative history approach work: 1. Pick the right slice of time. Johnson makes a case for 1815 - 1830 being the transition period from the revolutionary 18th Century to the modern world that laid the foundation of our 21st century world. He sta [...]

    9. I wonder if my great, great, great, great, great grandpa realized that he was living through the birth of the modern era during the early 19th century. Perhaps doing backbreaking labor six days a week and dying of syphilis in some back alley in Hamburg at the age of 36 didn’t make him appreciate his good fortune.Grandpa’s life not withstanding the early 19th century was dynamic if look at in a historical context. With Napoleon safely fuming in St. Helena, the British were safe to dip a water [...]

    10. Reading this book made me really understand how everything in history is connected in just one big continuing story. It was like the scales fell from my eyes. I'm kind of embarrassed it took me so long, but this book changed the way I think of history - in a good way, I mean. I wonder if I would like it as much now as when I read it so long ago?

    11. I thoroughly enjoyed this walking tour through European, mostly English, culture during the Regency period and just after.

    12. Epic, magisterial, even overwhelming. Difficult for me to imagine that one intellect could so beautifully filter so much information through a well-told story. I've read two other of Johnson's histories (one on Christianity and one on America) and admired them both, particularly for their fresh insights into familiar terrain. But the sheer scope and volume of this book is difficult to comprehend.There are times when it bogs down in too much detail--I remember skimming past the developments in di [...]

    13. Paul Johnson is a British journalist, a believing Catholic--and a conservative. That will put some people off--although it's notable I saw more than one review from readers who said in spite of that they found this book incisive and readable. For me it wasn't something off-putting but something I sought out. Having grown up on Manhattan's Upper West Side from kindergarten to college I was exposed almost exclusively to a left-wing narrative of history. I wanted to hear from the other side, and ye [...]

    14. Seriously, if I gave five stars to anything but fiction, this would get it. Spanning the period between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the revolutions of 1830, this lengthy little tome (1,000 pages---I bought it at $6 primarily for the value-per-page figure, although I was delighted at my dumb luck for having done so) covers mostly Europe, although it does digress into the Americas and China to explore the interactions of the Old World in the New. It's absolutely encyclopedic in scope and de [...]

    15. Okay, one of my favorite books. And I'm not a conservative! (Just for the record, I hated Modern Times and the author likes to get spanked by prostitutes) Beyond that, Johnson paints a picture of history which I've yet to see done. If your are a fan of James Burke, I highly recommend this book! It connects so many it important pieces of innovation to what has become our modern world that it truly turned my head. He clearly states at the beginning, his thesis and proceeds to brilliantly make his [...]

    16. I put this down about two-thirds of the way through. This book yielded a few really excellent ideas - like identifying the global scope of the expropriation of indigenous folks' land at the hands of grain-growing settler nations using state power - and helped fill in the gaping hole that was my knowledge of the Napoleonic Wars. But the author turned demagogue at times, and certain passages felt really forced and thin, mostly where events were given a late-twentieth-century conservative interpret [...]

    17. A must read for anyone interested in the formation of modern institutions. Covers an incredible range of topics on an international scale. This is the kind of book that reminds you that all of those GRE vocab flash cards weren't made up for the test. Despite Johnson's rap as a political activist, the predominant ideology that shines through in this book is his belief in the supremacy of his native Britain. Listened as audiobook via Overdrive (Blackstone Audio).NYT Review, 1991:nytimes/1991/06/23 [...]

    18. This is a history written by a journalist rather than an academic historian, and sadly is not a reliable source of information. It is well written, and there are many interesting vignettes, but there are also numerous errors that are readily evident, even to non-specialists. This leads one to suspect the quality of judgement exercised in the analysis of events. The New York Times review printed at the time of the book's first publishing is revealing and just.

    19. Despite his conservatism and strained attempts to attack the contemporary Left by association to discreditable persons and movements in the early nineteenth century, Johnson is an excellent writer and this is an entertaining, sometimes enlightening, cultural history of the period. I particularly liked his excursus on how much people walked back in the day.

    20. On the Congress of Vienna. An interesting co-read with Paris 1919 on the Versailles Treaty, with Gautier's Tableaux de Siege on the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war, and with Tony Judt's Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945.

    21. Johnson argues that virtually everything we associate with the modern world - art, science, politics, society, economy, etc. - either had its start or took a tremendous leap forward during the years after Waterloo. Johnson concentrates on Britain as the center of developments, but does not neglect the other areas of Europe and the world when appropriate.

    22. A fascinating insight into an amazing 15-year period that gave birth to the modern world. What is really good about this tome is how easy it is to read and the way it blends the many facets of a society to bring the history alive. It is mind boggling how much research he must have done to bring this book together.

    23. Very erudite work, almost encyclopedic. Not always well structured; often digressions and elaborations. Strong English focus: almost all the examples come from England, for example there is almost nothing on Goethe or Heine. The 1815-1830 time frame sometimes is too tight and is therefore regularly enlarged.

    24. If I'd already had greater historical knowledge I would've enjoyed this much more -- many references were lost on me -- or were too British-centric. Many times I wondered how certain subject matter was relevant to the book's theme -- including a particular fascination with Byron's sex life. I learned a lot, but it was a struggle. Longest book I've ever read -- exactly 1000 pages.

    25. My favorite of all of Johnson's books. A triumphant rampage through some of the most momentous and optimistic years in Western history. Johnson is in his element with anecdotes aplenty and bold association of seemingly disparate movements in art, sciences, politics, society, and religion.

    26. I started reading this shortly after it came out and it took 25 years but I finally finished it. In spite of the elapsed time, it is a good book, well written and comfortable with plenty of interesting nuggets.

    27. Do you really need 1,000 pages to chronicle 15 years? With these particular years, absolutely. Especially if you're not Eurocentric, which too many such histories are. Johnson even goes so far as to cite the opening of the first ad agency in Venezuela.

    28. I was very proud of myself when I slogged through the last few pages of this book.It wasn't bad. Just really really really long.Had some interesting stuff in there.Good for major history buffs or people doing research for historical romance novels.

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