DECLINE OF THE WEST (Modern Library)

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9780394604886: DECLINE OF THE WEST (Modern Library)

It must be left to critics to say whether it was Destiny or Incident — using these words in the author’s sense — that Spengler’s “Untergang des Abendlandes” appeared in July, 1918, that is, at the very turning point of the four years’ World War. It was conceived, the author tells us, before 1914 and fully worked out by 1917. So far as he is concerned, then, the impulse to create it arose from a view of our civilization not as the late war left it, but (as he says expressly) as the coming war would find it. But inevitably the public impulse to read it arose in and from post-war conditions, and thus it happened that this severe and difficult philosophy of history found a market that has justified the printing of 90,000 copies. Its very title was so apposite to the moment as to predispose the higher intellectuals to regard it as a work of the moment — the more so as the author was a simple Oberlehrer and unknown to the world of authoritative learning. A well-formatted version based on the Alfred A. Knopf, 1926 edition, translated by Charles Francis Atkinson.

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From the Back Cover:

"This grand panorama, this imaginative sweep, this staggering erudition, this Nietzschean prose, with its fine color and ringing force, mark a work that must endure."

-- Henry Hazlitt, New York Sun.

"Here is one of the mighty books of the century, which, sooner or later, will be read by all who ponder the riddle of existence... it is a truly monumental work, at once depressing in its pessimism and exhilarating in its compelling challenge to our accepted ideas."

-- Arthur D. Gayer, The Forum.

"As one reads Spengler the thought keeps recurring, ever more insistently, that here again is one of those universal minds which we had come to think were no longer possible."

-- Allen V. Peden,

St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Audacious, profound, crochety, absurd, exciting, and magnificent."

-- Lewis Mumford, The New Republic."With monumental learning, with an independence and coldness of judgment which defers nothing to great names or consecrated opinions, and in a style always forceful and in places eloquent, Spengler surveys man's cosmic march, analyzes social classes and the work of leaders, dissects the idea of the State... challenges the economic interpretation of history and appraises religion and religions, only to find them all, in the culture of the West, running fast to decay under the impetus of civilization doomed by destiny from which there is no escape."

-- William MacDonald, New York Times.

"Not since Nietzsche left his indelible mark upon European thought has a work of philosophy come out of Germany, or any other country in Europe, comparable in importance, brilliance and encyclopaedic knowledge with The Decline of the West."

-- Ernest Boyd, The Independent.

"For his methods, his challenges, and his attempts to portray the morphology of civilization, and his flaming appeal to the imagination, Spengler should be read by all who are trying to grope their way in the dusk of evening or dawn."

-- Charles Beard, New York Herald Tribune Books.

From the Inside Flap:

Oswald Spengler was born in 1880 at Blankenburg, Germany. He studied mathematics, philosophy, and history at Munich and Berlin. Except for his doctor's thesis on Heraclitus, he published nothing before the first volume of The Decline of the West, which appeared when he was thirty-eight. The Agadir crisis of 1911 provided the immediate incentive for his exhaustive investigations of the background and origins of our civilization. He chose his main title in 1912, finished the first draft of "Form and Actuality" ("Gestalt und Wirklichkeit") two years later, and published the volume in 1918. The second, extensively revised edition, from which the present translation was made, appeared in 1923. The concluding volume, "Perspectives of World-History" ("Welthistorische Perspektiven"), was published in 1922. The Decline of the West was first published in this country in 1906 (Vol. I) and 1928 (Vol. II).

For many years Spengler lived quietly in his home in Munich. thinking, writing, and pursuing his hobbies - the collecting of pictures and primitive weapons, listening to Beethoven quartets, reading the comedies of Shakespeare and Moliere, and taking occasional trips to the Harz Mountains and to Italy. He died suddenly of a heart attack in Munich three weeks before his fifty-sixth birthday.

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Spengler, Oswald
Published by Modern Library (1980)
ISBN 10: 0394604881 ISBN 13: 9780394604886
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Oswald Spengler
Published by Modern Library (1980)
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