This is a series of 3 books. Each are available to purchase separately or can be bought together for a discount.
“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.”
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA
“Whosoever, in writing a modern history, shall follow truth too near the heels, it may happily strike out his teeth.”
Sir Walter Raleigh, English explorer
In the beginning of the Modern Age, in the Florence of Marsilio Ficino, the finest minds were sufficiently enquiring and creative to produce great art and literature and the development of scientific ideas free from perversion into destructive and trivial ends. Slowly the natural deterioration of men and institutions, however, has wrought declining standards of conduct and government. For the modern age has seen land enclosure, industrial revolution, extremes of wealth and destitution, nationalism and political revolution. Yet once again great qualities have emerged within individuals: in recent times the compassion of Florence Nightingale, the genius of Van Gogh and Einstein, and valiant leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. So this book continues the study of charismatic individuals as beacons of light within a declining civilisation.
Ancient tradition challenges the view that mankind is ever progressing from ape-like origins towards an apotheosis of humanity. The study of history tends to confirm the contrary thesis of a gradual descent from a golden age to an age of iron. Yet throughout history there have arisen societies that rise above decline to exhibit the characteristics of a high civilisation, where knowledge and art flourish and inspire later generations. The Advancement of Civilisation in the Western World seeks to portray these exemplary times of human genius, whilst showing them against the background of oft-recurring times of darkness.
Brian Hodgkinson qualified as a Chartered Accountant, before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford. During a long teaching career at Sussex University, Dulwich College and St James Schools in London, he developed a strong and diverse interest in writing, which involved studying History, Economics, Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy and epic literature. Brian is the author of a number of Shepheard-Walwyn books.
You can read more about Brian Hodgkinson on his author page.
This series is published by Originals (an Imprint of Low Price Publications, Delhi, India) and distributed in the UK by Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers with their permission.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The City of Good Government The Master Builders of Quattrocento Florence
Chapter 2: Rejoice in the Present The Sources of the Florentine Renaissance
Chapter 3: At the Feet of the Master The Growth of the Renaissance
Chapter 4: The New Found Land Exploration and Land Development
Chapter 5: The Way of Reason Religious and Social Conflict in the Sixteenth Century
Chapter 6: This Side of the Sea and Beyond The Siege of Malta 1565
Chapter 7: The Melody of our Sweet Isle The Elizabethan Age
Chapter 8: Men of Butter William the Silent and the Dutch Struggle for Independence
Chapter 9: The Seven Sounding Harmony The Origins of Modern Science
Chapter 10: The Lion of the North Gustavus Adolphus and the Thirty Years War
Chapter 11: Whose Slaves the Poor Shall Be? The Civil War in England
Chapter 12: Batavian Freedom The Golden Age of the Dutch
Chapter 13: “Nec Pluribus Impar” The Defeat of Louis XIV
Chapter 14: No More Worlds to Conquer The Seven Years War
Chapter 15: The Reward Due to Valour Thomas Jefferson’s Vision of America
Chapter 16: Vienna Gloriosa Mozart and the Emperor Joseph II
Chapter 17: A Fall of Snow on Blossoming Leaves The French Revolution
Chapter 18: With Pomp of Waters, Unwithstood Victory over Napoleon
Chapter 19: Freedom Rejected Immanuel Kant and the Reform of Prussia
Chapter 20: Above the Vaulted Sky The Industrialisation of England
Chapter 21: A Son of Liberty The Unification of Italy
Chapter 22: God’s Private Secretary Florence Nightingale
Chapter 23: The Last, Best Hope of Earth The American Civil War
Chapter 24: The Liberty of the Nation Liberal England and Imperial Germany
Chapter 25: The Magic Mountain The Development of Science from the Nineteenth Century
Chapter 26: The Swift Iron Burning Bee The First World War
Chapter 27: “Beacons in the Night” Artists and Writers c1850-1945
Chapter 28: An Armistice for Twenty Years The Causes of the Second World War
Chapter 29: Victory over Tyranny The Second World War
“I have been reading his extraordinary new three volume book which is so beautifully written and crafted it could be called poetry. The three volumes cover The Advancement of Civilisation in the Western World, and that is just what it is, a great panorama of millenia which makes sense of who we are now and what we might have been and what we could be.”
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