Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties
By Paul Johnson
Harper, 1983, 817 pp.
Wide-ranging and quirky, this history of our times (since World War I) hits all the highlights and hot spots: the Russian Revolution, the Weimar Republic, the Kuomintang in China, the Crash, the Depression, the rise of Hitler, World War II and on to the 1980s. Johnson sees little difference between Hitler and Stalin, or Hoover and Roosevelt. All these troubles and troublemakers stem from two things: the belief in state planning, and the loss of belief in God. A latter-day Mencken, Johnson is witty, gritty and compulsively readable.