At The End of an Age…

Historian, Dr. John Lukacs

Historian, Dr. John Lukacs

“What I could not foresee, until lately, is the prospect of something somber.  This is the end of the Age of the Book.  I have known for a long time that the Modern Age, the great chapter of Western civilization that began about five hundred years ago, is passing.  The invention of printing was one of its early features.  It developed together with the rebirth of learning (which was a term long used in England for the Renaissance.  More people in Western Europe knew how to read Greek and Latin in 1520 than in 1320).  But it is only during the last twenty years or so that I have begun to see how the now rapidly declining habit of book reading is not a transitory or superficial phenomenon.  Living in the United States I have been well situated to observe this.  I am now living among a people, teaching its young, whose imagination is no longer verbal but pictorial.  During the twentieth century the capacity and the practice of listening have deteriorated.  In all walks of life, in all kinds of circumstances, the capacity of attention has become disrupted and curtailed because of the incredible―literally incredible―amount of noise and sounds and music and words and slogans whirling around people’s heads and ears.” ― Remembered Past; On History, Historians, and Historical Knowledge, by John Lukacs, Chapter VI, Page 682, edited by Mark G. Malvasi and Jeffrey O. Nelson, ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, © 2005 ISI Books.

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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