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This extraordinarily wide-ranging study looks at the dilemmas of life today and shows how they need not have arisen. Portraits of living people and historical figures are placed alongside each other as Zeldin discusses how men and women have lost and regained hope; how they have learnt to have interesting conversations; how some have acquired an immunity to loneliness; how new forms of love and desire have been invented; how respect has become more valued than power; how the art of escaping from one's troubles has developed; why even the privileged are often gloomy; and why parents and children are changing their minds about what they want from each other.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780749396237
ISBN-10: 0749396237
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 25mm)
Pages: 496
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 25-Sep-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Just published in paperback, this is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read, part cultural history, part user's guide to life. Zeldin trawls an astonishing range of forgotten or neglected wisdoms and brings them to bear on current preoccupations with a series of questions that might seem half-frivolous ('why has more progress been made in the art of cooking than in the art of sex?'), but which culminate in an illuminating, essentially optimistic picture of the gradual growth of our capacity to be truly humane. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Theodore Zeldin

Theodore Zeldin, educated at Birkbeck College London and Christ Church Oxford, is senior fellow of St Antony's College Oxford. He has been awarded the Wolfson Prize for History, been elected a member of the European Academy, and figures on the Magazine Litteraire's list of the hundred most important thinkers in the world today.

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