Modern Times

  • by Paul Johnson
  • Narrated by Nadia May
  • 37 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Named one of the Best Books of the Year in 1983 by the New York Times, this fast-paced, all-encompassing narrative history covers the great events, ideas, and personalities of the six decades following the end of World War I. It offers a full-scale, if controversial, analysis of how the modern age came into being and where it is heading.Beginning with May 29, 1919, when photographs of the solar eclipse confirmed the truth of Einstein's theory of relativity, Johnson goes on to describe Freudianism, the establishment of the first Marxist state, the chaos of "Old Europe", the Arcadian 20s, and the new forces in China and Japan. Also discussed are Karl Marx, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Roosevelt, Gandhi, Castro, Kennedy, Nixon, the '29 crash, the Great Depression, Roosevelt's New Deal, and the massive conflict of World War II.


What the Critics Say

"Johnson's insights are often brilliant and of value in their startling freshness." (Los Angeles Times)
"Frequently surprises, even startles us with new views of past events and fresh looks at the characters of the chief world movers and shakers, in politics, the military, economics, science, religion, and philosophy of six decades." (The Wall Street Journal)
"Truly a distinguished work of history...Modern Times unites historical and critical consciousness. It is far from being a simple chronicle, though a vast wealth of events and personages and historical changes fill it....We can take a great deal of intellectual pleasure in this book." (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fun, but use with caution

This is a non-standard sweep through 20th Century intellectual and moral history from a contrarian/right-of-center point of view. It's much more interesting than most works of this scope because Johnson is very opinionated and says just what he thinks, and he does it with some panache. I don't think it he is always correct (I'd still take FDR over Calvin Cooolidge) but I was never bored. It was no doubt a messy, ugly, bloody Century, and there can't be much argument over who the true monsters were. Lots of fun, but don't let this be your only guide.
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- Joseph

Relevant History

I can see why this was a bestseller when it came out. History means more to me now than when I was in high school and college. Most history books recite dry facts without insightful connections to the significant meaning behind the events. Other so called modern day history books are either so politically correct that they only focus on the sins of the Western world or are so biased to the left or the right that the reader feels manipulated and intellectually bankrupt.

This audio book is well read and is consistently interesting. I highly recommend this work.
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- Mark

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-29-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.