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The End of the Modern World [Hardcover]

Romano Guardini
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 July 1998
This expanded edition of Guardini's classic work includes the original text of The End of the Modern World, as well as the entirety of its explicit sequel, Power and Responsibility, in which Guardini analyzes modern man's conception of himself in the world and examines nature and use of power. The principle of individual responsibility weaves both works into a seamless, comprehensive, and compelling moral statement.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: ISI Books (15 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882926234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882926237
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,590,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The End of the Modern World, by Romano Guardini, is a short masterpiece on the problems of the age in which we now live - and which is now drawing to a close. Modern man is faced for the first time in his history with "mass" man. This "mass" affects everything - human dignity, right relationship with God, individuality, freedom, quality of life. The very nature of man can be called into question, with shattering consequences for our faith and our "home" in the universe. Guardini understood very well the "warehousing" concept of human life, where amongst crowds of men, the human person can lose significance, spiritual autonomy, and his bearings, feeling both crushed by these masses, and at the same time unable to escape them. He also understood the reality and trends toward totalitarianism, having resisted, been silenced by, and gone into hiding to escape the Nazis, himself. In my opinion, Guardini's writings (prophetic as they were) on the times in which we live are his most brilliant. He is a voice of God crying out in a world that is escalating ever more surely to annihilation of all that the human person has always considered fundamental to human life - dignity, right relationship with God, freedom. His other books which touch on this subject, The World and the Person, The Virtues, Power and Responsibility, and Letters from Lake Como, are also indispensable reading for facing and grappling with the problems of The End of the Modern World. I highly recommend Romano Guardini.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The End of The Modern World will change the way you look at the world. Since first reading it twenty years ago, the daily events of the world constantly bring me back to Guardini's prophetic words. Beyond changing you view, it may also change your life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom distilled 1 Oct 2012
By Byletts
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It will be an eyeopener to discover that what we called the modern world has already been destroyed by forces within itself that have been unleashed. We are now in the post-modern world and face huge new challenges. Solid reading but worthwhile for the wisdom it contains.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a prophetic book for the times in which we live. 13 Nov 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The End of the Modern World, by Romano Guardini, is a short masterpiece on the problems of the age in which we now live - and which is now drawing to a close. Modern man is faced for the first time in his history with "mass" man. This "mass" affects everything - human dignity, right relationship with God, individuality, freedom, quality of life. The very nature of man can be called into question, with shattering consequences for our faith and our "home" in the universe. Guardini understood very well the "warehousing" concept of human life, where amongst crowds of men, the human person can lose significance, spiritual autonomy, and his bearings, feeling both crushed by these masses, and at the same time unable to escape them. He also understood the reality and trends toward totalitarianism, having resisted, been silenced by, and gone into hiding to escape the Nazis, himself. In my opinion, Guardini's writings (prophetic as they were) on the times in which we live are his most brilliant. He is a voice of God crying out in a world that is escalating ever more surely to annihilation of all that the human person has always considered fundamental to human life - dignity, right relationship with God, freedom. His other books which touch on this subject, The World and the Person, The Virtues, Power and Responsibility, and Letters from Lake Como, are also indispensable reading for facing and grappling with the problems of The End of the Modern World. I highly recommend Romano Guardini.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penetrating look at the successor to the Modern World 10 Oct 2003
By Steven G. Hotovy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Father Guardini has a matchless ability to "get under the skin" of a culture, to define its essence, to elaborate what makes it tick. He turns his penetrating gaze briefly on Antiquity and the Middle Ages, but spends most time analyzing the Modern Age. For him, the keys aspects of the Modern world were a rich and expressive humanity, exemplified by the genius; a warm relationship with nature in which man is embedded; and a seemingly inexhaustible culture which man created.
He contends that the wellsprings of the Modern World have run dry. A new age is being born, the outlines of which are still very indistinct. The new age will foster a more frugal personality; it will view nature more from a distance and as something which man is called to master; the culture will be defined less by artistic expression than by the use of the enormous power over nature made possible by technology.
For the Christian, this means that a different set of virtues come to the fore. Guardini identifies 3 key ones: earnestness, gravity and asceticism, all springing from a deep humility. They are vital because we must be able to discipline ourselves before we can profitably use the enormous power at our disposal.
The book is vastly more penetrating, more challenging than my little overview can suggest. There is not a wasted word. On the contrary, ideas are almost underdeveloped. The book is meant to be read, and then read again. Each reading brings forth different aspects of this most profound book.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scorching Criticism 3 Jun 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Guardini has written, in a small space, what amounts to one of the most incisive, blistering critiques of the modern world that I've ever read. Beautifully abstract yet precise, this masterwork will leave you nearly breathless with its forceful prose and unwavering criticism. After reading this book, one may wonder how one has remained asleep for all this time. Wake up, world, Guardini is calling you! A fierce read that's about the most painfully honest thing a human being can read these days. Save your propaganda, your agenda, and your polemics for another time. Guardini will work on your last nerve until you are driven to action. Again, WAKE UP, WORLD!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that will change how you look at the world 7 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The End of The Modern World will change the way you look at the world. Since first reading it twenty years ago, the daily events of the world constantly bring me back to Guardini's prophetic words. Beyond changing you view, it may also change your life.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the Beginning of the Postmodern 10 April 2002
By wvano - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Written shortly after the end of World War II, The End of the Modern World is a bracing, sometimes bleak jeremiad against the dehumanizing dangers of what we now call postmodernism. Guardini is not a pessimist, but he is vitally concerned about the potential loss of human dignity and individual responsibility in a world culture dominated by technological utilitarianism.

Occasionally Guardini is off target (e.g., about all future wars being world wars), but mostly he is penetrating and prophetic in his analysis of contemporary society. After a brief review of the major epochs in Western history, he focuses on power as the defining problem of our age, and proposes that virtues such as humility, self-control, and faith are more crucial than ever.

After more than 50 years, this thought-provoking book still serves as one of the best introductions to the fundamental ethical and theological issues of our times.
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