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Modernism and pessimism seem to go hand in hand. What are the sources of the historical pessimism we see in the legions of writers and thinkers over the past three centuries who saw modern civilization as degenerate and despicable, happily marching to its own doom? Why did so many educated and intelligent people despise the innovations that were the work of their contemporaries? This book focuses on English and Polish thought during the 19 and early 20 centuries, a time of relative political stability and great success in science and industry, when many nevertheless voiced concern that Europe…mehr

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Produktbeschreibung
Modernism and pessimism seem to go hand in hand. What are the sources of the historical pessimism we see in the legions of writers and thinkers over the past three centuries who saw modern civilization as degenerate and despicable, happily marching to its own doom? Why did so many educated and intelligent people despise the innovations that were the work of their contemporaries? This book focuses on English and Polish thought during the 19 and early 20 centuries, a time of relative political stability and great success in science and industry, when many nevertheless voiced concern that Europe is moving in the wrong direction, to its own destruction. After WWI, these warnings became even more dire and have left their mark on the European culture of our times.

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Autorenporträt
Jerzy Jedlicki is Professor emeritus at the Institute of History at the Polish Academy of Sciences where he headed the research group for the history of the intelligentsia. He also was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. in 1989-90. His expertise is European social and intellectual history of the 18th-20th c.
Inhaltsangabe
Contents: Degeneration - Degenerate - Modernity - Decline of civilisation - Darwinism - Crisis - Victorian Era - Edwardian Era - Fin de Siècle - Turn of the century - City on trial - Industrial cities - Progress - Eugenics - Post-Enlightenment - Science Fiction - Mechanical Age - Romanticism - Railways - Steam Age - The West.