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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but Accessible.. with some effort
History ebbs and flows. The illusion that we are somehow at the 'end of history' and that civil organization and values as they now stand are beyond history's broader and deeper currents might be the great popular Myopia of our time. Spengler in this book has applied his voluminous knowledge and interpretive skills to the rise and fall of civilizations. Does the...
Published on 11 May 1999

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible formatting - not worth buying
Basically this seems to be the only unabridged English version available on Amazon, but it is a cheat on the public. The original obviously has many many footnotes, and these are promiscuously merged into the text, probably by a quick-and-dirty scan and conversion to text. There are multiple ridiculous misprints. Greek words come out as mere gibberish. It is almost...
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by Thomas Goodey


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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but Accessible.. with some effort, 11 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Decline of the West: 1 (Hardcover)
History ebbs and flows. The illusion that we are somehow at the 'end of history' and that civil organization and values as they now stand are beyond history's broader and deeper currents might be the great popular Myopia of our time. Spengler in this book has applied his voluminous knowledge and interpretive skills to the rise and fall of civilizations. Does the 'West' conform to the definition of a civilization in the age of global communications and entertainment? If so, are its prospects different than those of its predecessors? Schools no longer prepare the mainstream student for learning and argument at this level. Spengler's thesis hinges on the leading intellectual & aesthetic edges of the last 1000 years of our culture as compared to those of civilizations of antiquity, notably the Greco Roman.
There are scholarly contrasts to Spengler's study. William McNeill's 'Rise of the West' provides a direct challenge to many of its conclusions. Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' or Werner Jaeger's 'Paedeia' (on Greek classical culture) might be good comparative reference books, but these have now been relegated in public familiarity to dusty and esoteric academic departments. Spengler's work, however, falls squarely and uniquely into the realm of a great work of the Deist tradition of Western social philosophy, from which its reputation for skepticism comes. Its apparent mysticism emanates from the deep investigation into the intellectual attitude of the Western mind. There are, of course, other traditions in the 'Western' mix which have broad and predictive implications. This opus should not be misconstrued of as a work of pessimism. Constructive action and faith are, in fact, its basis for the prospect of vigorous and sustained regeneration of the human cause.
This is an exacting study. It requires a critical attitude to penetrate and to see that it has a fundamentally human and hopeful (and debatable) message. Decline of the West does in fact provide drama, grandeur, context and understanding to the sweep of history. It is accessible, though, to the determined general reader and constitutes a significant contribution to 20th Century thought. Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic for the Ages, 8 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Decline of the West: 1 (Hardcover)
Dr. Spengler's book has gotten a bad rap. It's blamed for sending the blitzkrieg on its path of conquest or it's trivialized as an arcane and skeptical view of society without modern utility. It is fair to say it is a highly speculative interpretation of history, which identifies an organic psychology common to all members of a given civilization. It is not an inbred archetype per se, but an iterative internalization of the modes and beliefs of a given culture which manifests itself in a civilization's aesthetic forms and symbols. These abstract elements are the main topic of this book. The book has been said to have been born of pessimism, but this too is bad rap. The fact that all epochs have their birth, golden ages and decline has never really been in dispute. The sheer precision by which Spengler has articulated the nature and characteristics of any given period in the life of a culture, and, has anticipated the paths of modern physics and modern arts can be disconcerting. Each annihilation, however, has instigated a rebirth of a new refreshed culture, operating at higher levels of understanding and technology. This book was written in the late teens and early twenties of this century, contemporaneously with those other great speculative works of Freud and Jung. It is in this illustrious company that Spengler belongs. All have a different emphasis but their subject is this peculiar and exotic mixture of history, literature, society, psychology and philosophy. The fact that all these authors have received a share of discredit in the latter part of the century in no way limiting to the intellectual force, profound effect and importance these books have.. to our civilization.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible formatting - not worth buying, 4 Jan 2011
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Basically this seems to be the only unabridged English version available on Amazon, but it is a cheat on the public. The original obviously has many many footnotes, and these are promiscuously merged into the text, probably by a quick-and-dirty scan and conversion to text. There are multiple ridiculous misprints. Greek words come out as mere gibberish. It is almost unreadable. I want my money back!
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11 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Philosopher, 17 Jun 1999
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This review is from: Decline of the West: 1 (Hardcover)
To be ignorant of Spengler is to remain ignorant.
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Decline of the West: 1
Decline of the West: 1 by Oswald Spengler (Hardcover - 1 Mar 2003)
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