The End of the Twentieth Century and the End of the Modern Age

In This Review

The End of the Twentieth Century and the End of the Modern Age

By John Lukacs
Ticknor and Fields, 1993
288 pp. $22.95
Purchase

Lukacs is a deeply cultivated, original, and somewhat self-indulgent conservative historian and a prodigious writer. This book, written after the liberation of Eastern Europe, is at once an analysis of Europe and America at the end of the century, an end also to what he regards as America's century, and an occasion for personal reflection. The historical insights are sound, especially about Eastern Europe, which the Hungarian-born observer knows intimately, and they are mixed with long sections of autobiographical notes, musings of a diarist. A pleasing mélange, with the theme that even as the Modern Age wanes, nationalism remains or becomes again the most powerful political force. He notes correctly, "There is no first-rate book about the history of nationalism."