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A brilliant, provocative long essay on the rise and fall and surival of modernism, by the English-languages' greatest living cultural historian.

About the Author

Peter Gay's first volume of his two-volume work, The Enlightenment- An Interpretation, won a National Book Award, and his bestselling Freud- A Life for Our Time was finalist for the National Book Award. His other numerous works include studies on the eighteenth century, Voltaire's Politics and The Party of Humanity, and essays on the writing of history, Style in History and Art and Act. The recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, and Overseas fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge, and the Heineken Prize for Historical Study, Peter Gay is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University.


Beautifully written, wide-ranging and psychologically acute, Modernism: The Lure of Heresy is a celebration of the subversive energies that decisively transformed art and culture in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At once bracingly intelligent and elegiac, Gay's magisterial book is richly rewarding for anyone who wants to understand the fractured world we have all inherited -- Stephen Greenblatt
Superbly researched and well recounted. The extent to which many [modernists] "sold out" to their wealthy patrons, adopting the values they once scorned, makes for some engrossing reading * Scotsman *
Highly readable, well-illustrated...an intelligent and exciting account of creative individuals and the times in which they worked... An enormous achievement * New Statesman *
An exhaustive and lively summary -- James Urquhart * Financial Times *
Written... with a polymathematical verve which carried me with him to the end -- Nicholas Bagnall * Sunday Telegraph *

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