Thread of Years (Revised)

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Thread of Years (Revised)
The distinguished historian John Lukacs has been described as one of the most powerful as well as one of the most learned minds of the] century by Conor Cruise O'Brien and as one of the most original and profound of contemporary thinkers by Paul Fussell. Here Lukacs presents a series of fictionalized vignettes of daily life as experienced by ordinary individuals in the United States (although Lukacs takes us to some European countries as well), each in a year from 1901 to 1969, and each followed by a short dialogue in which the author argues with an interlocutor (who may or may not be himself) over why he has chosen to develop a given scenario in that particular year and what its significance might be.

The period represents the life of a single man, K., which Lukacs weaves in and out of the text and through which can be traced the leitmotif of the book: the decline of Anglo-American civilization and of the ideal of the gentleman. The book is primarily a work in the history of manners and mores, a delightful-and poignant-succession of sketches that brings the reader into the inner and often undeclared life of individuals and places them in the larger dramas of historical process in this century.

Publication Date: 
November 10, 1999