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This is an auction for THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN: WORLD SOCIETY 1815-1830, by Paul Johnson.

"In 1815, on the eve of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, reactionaryism seemed triumphant everywhere, but by 1830 a decisive shift toward democracy had occurred. In the intervening 15 years, contends Johnson ( Modern Times ), the matrix of the modern world was formed: the U.S. became a global power, Russia expanded rapidly, Britain penetrated Arabia and the Middle East, Latin America threw off Spain's yoke, and an international order which would endure for a century took shape. This marvellously readable, vivid, immensely illuminating 1120-page chronicle of the epoch of Andrew Jackson, Wordsworth, Goya, Faraday, Beethoven and Bolivar is filled with startlingly original, provocative observations. For example, Johnson draws parallels between the destruction of Native Americans in the U.S. and Russia's genocide of Central Asian nomadic peoples. He also argues that Chinese opium addiction was not "a disease transmitted by the British" but the home-grown malady of an archaic society."
- Publishers Weekly (US) reviews:

"FIVE STARS!! 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."

More very favourable reviews on

Large format (trade) paperback 1996.

1095 pages.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95, or $6.95 by tracked mail. If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $9.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • NZ Post$4.95
  • tracked mail$6.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$9.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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