Publisher's Summary

This is an extraordinary chronicle of the fifteen years, 1815–1830, that laid the foundations of modern society. It is a history of people, ideas, politics, manners, morals, economics, art, science and technology, diplomacy, business and commerce, literature, and revolution.

From Wellington at Waterloo and Jackson at New Orleans to the surge of democratic power and reform, this tumultuous period saw the United States transform itself from an ex-colony into a formidable nation, Britain become the first industrial world power, Russia develop the fatal flaws that would engulf her in the twentieth century, and China and Japan set the stage for future development and catastrophe. Provocative, challenging, and listenable, this remarkable story is told through the lives and actions of its outstanding, curious, and ordinary people.

Paul Johnson is a historian whose work ranges over the millennia and the whole gamut of human activities. He regularly writes book reviews for several UK magazines and newspapers, such as the Literary Review and the Spectator, and he lectures around the world. He lives in London.

©1991 Paul Johnson (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
JZ Temple
Sep 04, 2007
JZ Temple rated it 5 of 5 stars false
Shelves: history
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.
Jun 14, 2008
Glen rated it 5 of 5 stars false
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 h...more
Erik Graff
Jun 09, 2011
Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars false · review of another edition
Recommends it for: cultural historians
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
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.

The last review hooked me, it is hard to weed out the history revisionist authors.
This one will take me awhile, over a thousand pages.