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Presents the case that the period just after the Napoleonic Wars was crucial to the formation of today's society.
A leading historian and bestselling author re-creates the growth, decline, and legacy of 3,000 Years of Egyptian civilization with an authoritative text splendidly illustrated with 150 illustrations in full color.Ancient Egypt, with its legacy of pyramids, pharaohs and sphinxes, is a land of power and mystery to the modern world. In The Civilization of Ancient Egypt Paul Johnson explores the growth and decline of a culture that survived for 3,000 years and maintained a purity of style that rivals all others. Johnson's study looks in detail at the state, religion, culture and geographical setting and how they combined in this unusually enduring civilization. From the beginning of Egyptian culture to the rediscovery of the pharaohs, the book covers the totalitarian theocracy, the empire of the Nile, the structure of dynastic Egypt, the dynastic way of death, hieroglyphs, the anatomy of perspective art and, finally, the decline and fall of the pharaohs, Johnson seeks, through an exciting combination of images and analysis, to discover the causes behind the collapse of this, great civilization while celebrating the extra-ordinary legacy it has left behind.Paul Johnson on Ancient Egypt and the Egyptians"Egypt was not only the first state, it was the first country.... The durability of the state which thus evolved was ensured by the overwhelming simplicity and power of its central institution, the theocratic monarchy." "The Egyptians did not share the Babylonian passion for astrology, but they used the stars as one of many guides to behavior. No Egyptian believed in a free exercise of will in important decisions: he always looked for an omen or a prophecy or an oracle." "The development of hieroglyphics mirrors and epitomizes the history of Egyptian civilization. . . . No one outside Egypt understood it and even within Egypt it was the exclusive working tool of the ruling and priestly classes. The great mass of Egyptians were condemned to illiteracy by the complexities (and also the beauties) of the Egyptian written language.""The affection the Egyptians were not. ashamed to display towards their children was related to the high status women enjoyed in Egyptian society.""If we can understand Egyptian art we can go a long way towards grasping the very spirit and outlook on life, of this gifted people, so remote in time. The dynamic of their civilization seems to have been a passionate love of order (maat to them), by which they sought to give to human activities and creations the same regularity as their landscape, their great river, their sun-cycle and their immutable seasons."
From the book's introduction: "'civilizations of the holy land' is an expression not easily defined in either space or time. By the Holy Land, most of us mean the stretch of Near-Eastern territory, the nucleus of which is modern Palestine or Israel, intimately associated with the great 'Religions of the Book', Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many of the events crucial to the origin and early development of these three faiths took place outside this geographical nucleus but cannot for that reason be ignored in this account. Equally, not all the cultures which have flourished in this region have been directly linked to the beliefs which, to us, make it holy but they are part of its history nonetheless, and must be brought into the story. The truth is that the history of this corner of the world is extremely complicated and does not easily accommodate itself to the straitjacket of a strictly systematic treatment. In telling it we shall sometimes find ourselves digressing both in chronology and geography before resuming the main thread of our narrative. In short, we shall be closer to the methods of Herodotus than those of Thucydides - with a dash of Pausanias and Strabo thrown in. No matter: what the tale loses in clarity it may gain in colour." History buffs and students of the Bible and Koran would find this book fascinating. The understanding of either book will be enhanced by knowing the history and culture behind those books and the places of worship which they inspire. From Canaaites to Crusaders. Very readable.
Kingsley Amis described Paul Johnson's Intellectuals as "a valuable and entertaining Rogues' Gallery of Adventures of the Mind." Now the celebrated journalist and historian offers Creators, a companion volume of essays that examines a host of outstanding and prolific creative spirits. Here are Disney, Picasso, Bach, and Shakespeare; Austen, Twain, and T. S. Eliot; and Dürer, Hokusai, Pugin, and Viollet-le-Duc, among many others. Paul Johnson believes that creation cannot be satisfactorily analyzed, but it can be illustrated to bring out its salient characteristics. That is the purpose of this instructive and witty book.
Well written with scholarly references. Style will appeal to the historian and less scholarly readers.
By far the most important figure in the history of the United States, George Washington liberated the thirteen colonies from the superior forces of the British Empire against all military odds, and presided over the production and ratification of a constitution that (suitably amended) has lasted for more than two hundred years. Yet today Washington remains a distant figure to many Americans--a failing that acclaimed author Paul Johnson sets out to rectify with this brilliantly vivid, sharply etched portrait of the great hero as a young warrior, masterly commander in chief, patient lawmaker, and exceptionally wise president.
The Possibilities Are Staggering: Had you invested $10,000 in Cisco Systems back in early 1990, your investment would now be worth $3,650,000. Similarly, a $10,000 investment made in Microsoft in 1986 would be valued at more than $4,721,000 today. $10,000 invested in Yahoo! in 1996 would today be worth $317,000. How do you get in on those deals--especially if you're not a Silicon Valley insider? How do you buy the high-tech winners and avoid the losers? How do you find the Yahoo!s, Microsofts, and Ciscos of tomorrow? The answers are here, in this edition of the national bestseller The Gorilla Game. The book reveals the dynamics driving the market for high-tech stocks and out-lines the forces that catapult a select number of companies to "gorilla" status--dominating the markets they serve in the way that Yahoo! dominates internet portals, Microsoft dominates software operating systems, and Cisco dominates hardware for data networks. Follow the rules of The Gorilla Game and you will learn how to identify and invest in the "gorilla candidates" early on--while they are still fighting for dominance, and while their stocks are still cheap. When the dust clears and one company clearly attains leadership in its market, you'll reap the enormous returns that foresighted investors in high-tech companies deserve.
A galaxy of legendary figures from the annals of Western history In this enlightening and entertaining work, Paul Johnson, the bestselling author of Intellectuals and Creators, approaches the subject of heroism with stirring examples of men and women from every age, walk of life, and corner of the planet who have inspired and transformed not only their own cultures but the entire world as well. Heroes includes: Samson, Judith, and Deborah Henry V and Joan of Arc Elizabeth I and Walter Raleigh George Washington, the Duke of Wellington, and Lord Nelson Emily Dickinson Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee Mae West and Marilyn Monroe Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II
First published in 1976, Paul Johnson's exceptional study of Christianity has been loved and widely hailed for its intensive research, writing, and magnitude. In a highly readable companion to books on faith and history, the scholar and author Johnson has illuminated the Christian world and its fascinating history in a way that no other has. Johnson takes off in the year 49 with his namesake the apostle Paul. Thus beginning an ambitious quest to paint the centuries since the founding of a little-known 'Jesus Sect', A History of Christianity explores to a great degree the evolution of the Western world. With an unbiased and overall optimistic tone, Johnson traces the fantastic scope of the consequent sects of Christianity and the people who followed them. Information drawn from extensive and varied sources from around the world makes this history as credible as it is reliable. Invaluable understanding of the framework of modern Christianity - and its trials and tribulations throughout history - has never before been contained in such a captivating work.
"The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures," begins Paul Johnson's remarkable new American history. "No other national story holds such tremendous lessons, for the American people themselves and for the rest of mankind." Johnson's history is a reinterpretation of American history from the first settlements to the Clinton administration. It covers every aspect of U.S. history--politics; business and economics; art, literature and science; society and customs; complex traditions and religious beliefs. The story is told in terms of the men and women who shaped and led the nation and the ordinary people who collectively created its unique character. Wherever possible, letters, diaries, and recorded conversations are used to ensure a sense of actuality. "The book has new and often trenchant things to say about every aspect and period of America's past," says Johnson, "and I do not seek, as some historians do, to conceal my opinions." Johnson's history presents John Winthrop, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, Cotton Mather, Franklin, Tom Paine, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison from a fresh perspective. It emphasizes the role of religion in American history and how early America was linked to England's history and culture and includes incisive portraits of Andrew Jackson, Chief Justice Marshall, Clay, Lincoln, and Jefferson Davis. Johnson shows how Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt ushered in the age of big business and industry and how Woodrow Wilson revolutionized the government's role. He offers new views of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover and of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and his role as commander in chief during World War II. An examination of the unforeseen greatness of Harry Truman and reassessments of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush follow. "Compulsively readable," said Foreign Affairs of Johnson's unique narrative skills and sharp profiles of people. This is an in-depth portrait of a great people, from their fragile origins through their struggles for independence and nationhood, their heroic efforts and sacrifices to deal with the `organic sin' of slavery and the preservation of the Union to its explosive economic growth and emergence as a world power and its sole superpower. Johnson discusses such contemporary topics as the politics of racism, education, Vietnam, the power of the press, political correctness, the growth of litigation, and the rising influence of women. He sees Americans as a problem-solving people and the story of America as "essentially one of difficulties being overcome by intelligence and skill, by faith and strength of purpose, by courage and persistence...Looking back on its past, and forward to its future, the auguries are that it will not disappoint humanity." This challenging narrative and interpretation of American history by the author of many distinguished historical works is sometimes controversial and always provocative. Johnson's views of individuals, events, themes, and issues are original, critical, and admiring, for he is, above all, a strong believer in the history and the destiny of the American people.
A national bestseller, this brilliant 4000 year survey covers not only Jewish history but he impact of Jewish genius and imagination on the world. By the author of Modern Times: The World From the Twenties to the Eighties.
The author of the masterly volumes Intellectuals, Creators, and Heroes returns with a collection of biographical portraits of the greatest humorists and wits in history. In Intellectuals, Paul Johnson offered a fascinating portrait of the minds that have shaped the modern world. In Creators, he examined a host of outstanding and prolific creative spirits. And in Heroes, he brought together a galaxy of commanding figures from the annals of Western history. Now Johnson turns his impressive intellect and piercing insight to the finest wits of the Western world. His is a selective survey across history and includes a diverse cast of legendary humorists who got a grand kick out of life, including Benjamin Franklin and the Marx Brothers, Charles Dickens and Damon Runyon, W. C. Fields and Samuel Johnson, William Hogarth and James Thurber. Including darkest humor, broad satire, bawdy wit, biting sarcasm, and more, this entertaining and erudite collection showcases some of our sharpest minds reflecting on the human condition's follies, pretensions, and foibles with that greatest of gifts: humor.
A fascinating portrait of the minds that have shaped the modern world. In an intriguing series of case studies, Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell, Brecht, Sartre, Edmund Wilson, Victor Gollancz, Lillian Hellman, Cyril Connolly, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Kenneth Tynan, and Noam Chomsky, among others, are revealed as intellectuals both brilliant and contradictory, magnetic and dangerous.
American history textbook.
Corporate capitalism was invented in nineteenth-century Britain; most of the market institutions that we take for granted today - limited companies, shares, stock markets, accountants, financial newspapers - were Victorian creations. So were the moral codes, the behavioural assumptions, the rules of thumb and the unspoken agreements that made this market structure work. This innovative study provides the first integrated analysis of the origin of these formative capitalist institutions, and reveals why they were conceived and how they were constructed. It explores the moral, economic and legal assumptions that supported this formal institutional structure, and which continue to shape the corporate economy of today. Tracing the institutional growth of the corporate economy in Victorian Britain and demonstrating that many of the perceived problems of modern capitalism - financial fraud, reckless speculation, excessive remuneration - have clear historical precedents, this is a major contribution to the economic history of modern Britain.
The classic world history of the events, ideas, and personalities of the twentieth century.
In this probing, challenging and personal account of his feelings about God and religion, Paul Johnson shares with others the strength and comfort of his own faith. Informed by his great knowledge of history, The Quest for God is written with force, lucidity and eloquence by the author of Intellectuals, Modern Times, A History of the Jews and other works.
The development of the first universities from the 12th century onwards, growing wealth and patronage in certain cities, and above all the invention of printing and cheap paper, provided essential conditions for the Renaissance. And it was in literature and scholarship that it began, in humanism, individualism and scepticism and the rebirth of classical culture that loosened the Church's iron grip on visual art - Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, even Chaucer playing an important role. Paul Johnson tells the story, in turn, of Renaissance literature, sculpture, building and painting. Despite the critical importance of inventions outside Italy - printing in Germany and oil painting in Holland - he locates the Renaissance firmly in Italy and in Florence above all, between 1400 and 1560. He stresses the cultural enthusiasm of the city-state rulers such as the Medici in Florence, the Visconti and Sforza in Milan, Montefeltro in Urbino, the Gonzaga in Mantua and, not least, the Papacy in Rome. There are memorable sketches of the key figures - the frugal and shockingly original Donatello, the intensely competitive Verrochio, the awesome Michelangelo, the delicacy of Giovanni Bellini, the disorganised Leonardo, the affable and reliable Raphael. The final part of the book charts the spread and decline of the Renaissance, as the Catholic Church repositioned itself to counter the Reformation which the Renaissance had itself helped to produce.
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