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Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

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TRAGEDY AND HOPE shows the years 1895-1950 as a period of transition from the world dominated by Europe in the nineteenth century to the world of three blocs in the twentieth century. With clarity, perspective, and cumulative impact, Professor Quigley examines the nature of that transition through two world wars and a worldwide economic depression. As an interpretative his TRAGEDY AND HOPE shows the years 1895-1950 as a period of transition from the world dominated by Europe in the nineteenth century to the world of three blocs in the twentieth century. With clarity, perspective, and cumulative impact, Professor Quigley examines the nature of that transition through two world wars and a worldwide economic depression. As an interpretative historian, he tries to show each event in the full complexity of its historical context. The result is a unique work, notable in several ways. It gives a picture of the world in terms of the influence of different cultures and outlooks upon each other; it shows, more completely than in any similar work, the influence of science and technology on human life; and it explains, with unprecedented clarity, how the intricate financial and commercial patterns of the West prior to 1914 influenced the development of today's world.


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TRAGEDY AND HOPE shows the years 1895-1950 as a period of transition from the world dominated by Europe in the nineteenth century to the world of three blocs in the twentieth century. With clarity, perspective, and cumulative impact, Professor Quigley examines the nature of that transition through two world wars and a worldwide economic depression. As an interpretative his TRAGEDY AND HOPE shows the years 1895-1950 as a period of transition from the world dominated by Europe in the nineteenth century to the world of three blocs in the twentieth century. With clarity, perspective, and cumulative impact, Professor Quigley examines the nature of that transition through two world wars and a worldwide economic depression. As an interpretative historian, he tries to show each event in the full complexity of its historical context. The result is a unique work, notable in several ways. It gives a picture of the world in terms of the influence of different cultures and outlooks upon each other; it shows, more completely than in any similar work, the influence of science and technology on human life; and it explains, with unprecedented clarity, how the intricate financial and commercial patterns of the West prior to 1914 influenced the development of today's world.

30 review for Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    This gigantic book - 1350 pages! - reminds me in an odd way of Roger Penrose's almost equally massive The Road to Reality, which I read last year. In both cases, we have an unusually gifted person, who sets out to present an integrated overview of an entire field. For Penrose, it's modern physics; for Quigley, it's world history during the period from 1895 to 1960. In both cases, we soon discover that the author has a highly non-standard but strangely persuasive view of their respective subject, This gigantic book - 1350 pages! - reminds me in an odd way of Roger Penrose's almost equally massive The Road to Reality, which I read last year. In both cases, we have an unusually gifted person, who sets out to present an integrated overview of an entire field. For Penrose, it's modern physics; for Quigley, it's world history during the period from 1895 to 1960. In both cases, we soon discover that the author has a highly non-standard but strangely persuasive view of their respective subject, which involves juxtaposition of elements normally considered in isolation. Penrose spends much of his book setting the scene for his unorthodox ideas about the connections between General Relativity, quantum theory, thermodynamics and the origins of the universe; right or wrong, there are many points in the argument where it is impossible not to wonder why other authors so resolutely refuse to put things together and ask certain questions. What is the actual relationship between the evolution of the quantum mechanical wavefunction and its apparent collapse when an observation is made? Does gravity have anything to do it? Why was the universe created in an extremely low-entropy state? Is there any real reason to think that there could be more dimensions than the four we can see? Even if Penrose is completely out to lunch (a distinct possibility), he is reminding us that these issues are far more interesting and fundamental than the theory-tweaking that most physicists spend their time on. If you don't think big, you're never going to win big. And similarly with Quigley, who resolutely refuses to let himself be limited by a single perspective or narrow conceptions of political correctness. His account of recent history combines at least five main strands: macro-economic theory, power relationships, weapons technology, psychology and religion. It is quite startling to see how much he knows about all of them. He moves smoothly from explaining how deflationary policies caused the post-World War I German depression, to describing the way investment in arms manufacturing can redistribute wealth and kick-start an economy, to a discussion of Douhet's 1922 theory of strategic bombing and how it influenced Britain's policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany, to an account of the development of radar and how it assured the Allied victory in the Battle of Britain. The level of detail is breathtaking; there's a reason why the book is so long, and indeed you often feel that he's reluctantly cutting a lot out to save space. Behind it all, he has an overarching vision of how all historical events are influenced by deep philosophical, religious and cultural perspectives going back to the beginnings of recorded history. This stuff is amazingly bold. For example, he sees the basic division between the American Left and Right as ultimately emanating from counter-currents in Christian thought. The Left is following standard Christian doctrine (man is essentially good, and only needs help and guidance), while the Right follows the Manichaean doctrine imported into Christianity by Saint Augustine (evil is a positive force, and man needs strong external discipline to protect him from it). I am sure that not everyone will like this, but I thought it was perceptive. An even more controversial aspect of the book, which I can see nearly everyone hates, is his analysis of national character. For example, he claims that there is a unifying pattern of behavior connecting the Arab and Latin American countries, with Moorish Spain as the link; this is typified by a tribal government based on interpersonal relations rather than laws, endemic corruption, and contempt for women. Yes, too simplistic, as he admits himself; but is it really worse than the currently fashionable alternative, which is to pretend that people are the same everywhere and there are no truly important cultural differences? I have to say something about conspiracy theories: thanks to a short section around p. 950, Tragedy and Hope has become a kind of bible for conspiracy theorists world-wide, who in many cases appear not to have read any other part of the book. Quigley identifies an influential English clique centered on Oxford University, the "Round Table Group", who, he says, played a major role in shaping British policy during this period, often operating behind the scenes. They were closely connected to some of the American East Coast financial establishment, in particular to J.P. Morgan and his powerful associates, and at some points were able to exert great influence on the US government as well. Quigley in no way tries to sensationalize the idea, or portray these people as unscrupulous or evil. On the contrary, his admiration for them is obvious: he feels that they did a great deal to try to make the world a better place, even if their plans did not always lead to the results they intended. And yet... it is so easy to see why conspiracy theorists love the book. There is a constant feeling that there is more, which he cannot reveal. He talks at length about the brilliant scientists who worked on the Allied side during World War II and the Cold War, much of whose work is still not at all well-known, but who made a huge contribution to saving Western Civilization from the twin evils of Nazism and Stalinism. He is particularly indignant about the treatment Oppenheimer received at the hands of McCarthy and his stooges. And I think the conspiracy theorists are mistaken when they try to use Quigley to demonstrate the continued importance of the Round Table Group and its claimed successors. He writes of them with love and nostalgia, of the Great Ones who have now departed. If I were a conspiracy theorist, which I am not, I would expand this idea further, and note that Tolkien was also a professor at Oxford University around this time. I have checked, and at least one member of the Inklings had a connection to the Round Table Group. I would argue that The Lord of the Rings, despite Tolkien's protestations to the contrary, tells the story of our times in a disguised form; how the Valar sent their emissaries to guide us in our fight against the great evil of Sauron, and how, when he had been defeated, they returned into the Ultimate West, leaving us bereft of their wisdom and power. But that is just a fantasy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    uosɯɐS

    I think I first found out about this book from a footnote in a John Taylor Gatto book. Somehow, I got the impression that this was "THE" go-to history book to explain conspiracy theories. ("I got the book, I got the book to tell what they been DOIN' to us all!" - angry mob guy from the movie Rigoletto). A bit of searching on the internet seems to confirm that many people view it this way as well, though I also quickly got the impression that most people don't read T&H, but another book that quot I think I first found out about this book from a footnote in a John Taylor Gatto book. Somehow, I got the impression that this was "THE" go-to history book to explain conspiracy theories. ("I got the book, I got the book to tell what they been DOIN' to us all!" - angry mob guy from the movie Rigoletto). A bit of searching on the internet seems to confirm that many people view it this way as well, though I also quickly got the impression that most people don't read T&H, but another book that quotes some portions of T&H: None Dare Call It Conspiracy. I remember seeing NDCIC laying around our house when I was a teenager, though I never got around to reading it myself and for all I know neither did my parents. As it turns out, the author of NDCIC was a prominent member of the John Birch Society (And the founder of Koch Industries was also a founder of JBS). Interestingly enough, T&H mentions the John Birch Society... it was... laughably ironic! Well, of course the people who read a short paperback promoting conspiracy theories aren't the kind of people who want to read a 1300 page textbook written by an Ivy League College Professor. Well... the joke's on them ;-) Apparently I am the latter. Even if it takes me eight years. [insert: mic drop?] Anyway, yeah, it took me eight years to finish this book. I kept putting it down and reading other books, then coming back to it... over and over. I can't say it wasn't mostly long and dry. Lots and lots of facts and figures about WWI & WWII and then the Cold War. But out of it all, I did come away with a sense of history that I didn't have before. There were many portions of social commentary that were actually quite fascinating. Of course, many of the ways he presents things, especially other cultures, now seem prejudiced and dated, but it was written 50 years ago, ya know?? I still want to read his book: The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis. I'm very suspicious that it somehow influenced Sid Meier (For those who don't recognize the name, see: Sid Meier's Civilization).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Philana Walker

    This book covers 15o years (up to the 1960s) of social development that Quigley associates with the rise of positions of power in the western world. As daunting a book as it may seem, it is one that must be read. Power, economic influence, globalism and the transnational forms of government. If you can get your hands on it, read it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marks54

    This book still gets a lot of interest, even though Quigley has been dead for over 40 years. Perhaps, his mention by Bill Clinton in his inaugural address has maintained interest. There have been other drivers of interest for Quigley (and this volume) as well, not all of them laudable or fair. I rated the book highly because of the impact it (and the class for which it was read) has had on me. To this this day, I vividly remember Quigley's classes (five semesters) as if they were yesterday. The a This book still gets a lot of interest, even though Quigley has been dead for over 40 years. Perhaps, his mention by Bill Clinton in his inaugural address has maintained interest. There have been other drivers of interest for Quigley (and this volume) as well, not all of them laudable or fair. I rated the book highly because of the impact it (and the class for which it was read) has had on me. To this this day, I vividly remember Quigley's classes (five semesters) as if they were yesterday. The agendas he raised have remained with me ever since. He was the first professor I had who was a real showman in class, from the giving of exams to the telling of funny stories. What was so important, however, was that he worked very hard to give meaning to the complex of facts, events, and people that comprise world history. He tried to capture the flow of history, the deep longstanding streams flowing through it, and the relative few significant forces propelling it. The idea that history can be looked at this way is a powerful one, especially to an impressionable undergraduate. It made you feel like you were working with "big time" ideas and real scholarship. ...at least those were the impressions I had of the experience. With this said, I have to also admit that without the personal experience, I doubt I would have rated the book as highly as I do. The book is under-referenced and reads as if it is a collection of detailed lecture notes. To some extent that is OK, but I increasingly find it important to double check the sources and examine detail below the level of the main story. Quigley is also prone to considerable generalization and I came to view my subsequent education as a process of finding out which of my undergraduate revelations held up under more focused scrutiny. Many of Quigley's did not hold up, although the process of coming to realize that was itself a valuable education. I have also become increasingly skeptical of evolutionary views of civilizations, such as Quigley's. The devil is almost always in the details and overly broad stories can encourage hero worship rather than critical thinking. Looking back, Quigley's huge contribution to my life was in capturing Western values, especially ideas of balance, moderation, and inclusion as keys to Western success. This is a broad story of Western History and I am thankful to Quigley for introducing me to his variant of it. There is a lot of good history being published these days. I am still reading it with avid interest due to Carroll Quigley and Tragedy and Hope, which I read for his two semester class in the World since 1914.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I read this back in the early 90's. I was lucky to get it on interlibrary loan, as it was out of print then. I'm so glad it is back in print now. It is essential reading if you want to know more about what happened and who caused it to happen. I'm looking forward to reading it again. I read this back in the early 90's. I was lucky to get it on interlibrary loan, as it was out of print then. I'm so glad it is back in print now. It is essential reading if you want to know more about what happened and who caused it to happen. I'm looking forward to reading it again.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

    William Carroll Quigley (1910-1977) was professor of history at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where he taught an influential course, "The Development of Civilization" (summarized in his book The Evolution of Civilizations). Quigley proposed an original and well-defined model of civilizations and the distinct stages through which they evolve. In this model, a civilization is "a producing society that has writing, city life, and an economic instrument of expansion". It evolves th William Carroll Quigley (1910-1977) was professor of history at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, where he taught an influential course, "The Development of Civilization" (summarized in his book The Evolution of Civilizations). Quigley proposed an original and well-defined model of civilizations and the distinct stages through which they evolve. In this model, a civilization is "a producing society that has writing, city life, and an economic instrument of expansion". It evolves through seven stages, called 1) mixture 2) gestation 3) expansion 4) age of conflict 5) universal empire 6) decay 7) destruction (usually by outside invaders) Quigley enumerates and names sixteen civilizations in history that fit this model, more or less. Samuel P. Huntington drew upon Quigley's concepts in his book The Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order. --- In 1966, Quigley published a one-volume history of the twentieth century, titled Tragedy and Hope. At several points in this book, the history of the Milner group is discussed. Moreover, Quigley states that he has recently been in direct contact with this organization, whose nature he contrasts to right-wing claims of a communist conspiracy: This radical Right fairy tale, which is now an accepted folk myth in many groups in America, pictured the recent history of the United States, in regard to domestic reform and in foreign affairs, as a well-organized plot by extreme Left-wing elements... This myth, like all fables, does in fact have a modicum of truth. There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the Radical right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other group, and frequently does so. I know of the operation of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies... but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known --- Quigley was dismissive of the authors who used his writings to support theories of a world domination conspiracy. On Gary Allen's None Dare Call It Conspiracy he said: They thought Dr. Carroll Quigley proved everything. For example, they constantly misquote me to this effect: that Lord Milner (the dominant trustee of the Cecil Rhodes Trust and a heavy in the Round Table Group) helped finance the Bolsheviks. I have been through the greater part of Milner's private papers and have found no evidence to support that. Further, None Dare Call It Conspiracy insists that international bankers were a single bloc, were all powerful and remain so today. I, on the contrary, stated in my book that they were much divided, often fought among themselves, had great influence but not control of political life and were sharply reduced in power about 1931-1940, when they became less influential than monopolized industry --- Quigley argued that the Round Table groups were not World Government advocates but super-imperialists. He stated that they emphatically did not want the League of Nations to become a World Government. Yet Lionel Curtis, who, according to Quigley, was one of the leaders of the Round Table movement, wished for it to be a World government with teeth, writing articles with H. G. Wells urging this. --- one fascinating oddity is a quote by Huntington “These transnationalists have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite's global operations” ― Samuel P. Huntington

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diana (Bever) Barber

    Why do they call it Conspiracy THEORY when there are books like this on the market? Carroll Quigley (mentor to Bill Clinton and others) is unapologetic in his socialistic/neoMarxist/fascistic leanings. He details how socialists and others have and are taking away our freedoms and why. WOW! This book is an eye-opener. I wish I had a personal copy of it (I had checked it out through inter-library loan).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Totally looking forward to reading this.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    Often the favorite of conspiracy quacks in the US. Read just the other day that there is a difference thinking that history has conspiracies & thinking that history is a conspiracy. I think the latter is an important consideration to think about. I don't think that the "&" on the cover page of the present edition was always in "purgatory pink" for instance. Written in 1966 Quigley was supposedly a political insider with the Rhodes scholar people. Clinton is said to have cited him for influence. I Often the favorite of conspiracy quacks in the US. Read just the other day that there is a difference thinking that history has conspiracies & thinking that history is a conspiracy. I think the latter is an important consideration to think about. I don't think that the "&" on the cover page of the present edition was always in "purgatory pink" for instance. Written in 1966 Quigley was supposedly a political insider with the Rhodes scholar people. Clinton is said to have cited him for influence. I tried to locate where the fuss is concerning the presence of conspiracy Quigley supposedly explains in open-publick! (John Birch Society or no John Birch Society). Some interesting facts did stand out. For example, the use of deadly weaponry seemed to present a wartime call for absolute dictatorial government control in secrecy long before this book was written during the cold war. Quigley explains that nothing short of top-down dictatorship can effect the control necessary to stop the threat from, say, invisible poisons lethal to the skin or airborne in urban places. Nuclear war actually helped slow down this process that Quigley saw coming. This is nothing new since national security is always the rationalization for forgoing freedom or law or tradition or custom or popular desires for secret government policies of paternal inclinations. I think the difference here is that Quigley is telling the reader (buried in 1000 pages of contemporary history) that unbeknownst this is already the case. Quigley thought that it was for the best. He wrote thinking that the secret mechanizations of the ruling class of the Northeastern-British establishment can be out in the open without grave social consequence. Elections are engineered or irrelevant either way when all is said and done. Now everyone admits this to some extent. In the America of Quigley's day this was still taboo however. Quigley is actually wrongfully remembered for whistleblowing secretive history for an academic audience. His other book "The Anglo-American Establishment" is a complete bore to read with no information of usefulness despite the claim. Tragedy and Hope is a study (in part) of great insight for the time. The final chapters on the plight of the middle class in America or the Catholic Kennedy call for the use of Medieval Scholasticism in future debates was typical in the left leaning academia of the 60's. Dwight Eisenhower may have been a communist rather than simply a golfer in retrospect, but that is a dead duck political argument now. A quote on the Harvard commencement speech by Lawrence Bender is just one valuable anecdote of material for the antiquarian historian who has the time to examine this book. An anthropological narrative of middle-class white American girls in 50's America is worth the read since the vast majority of this kind of stuff came from the far-left Critical Theorist Frankfurters out of Columbia at the time. One can think of Coming of Age in Somoa. Quigley was a gentleman of a different stripe who writes from an altogether different vantage point. Worth reading the now bland ideas to see the history of academic discourse in another perspective. Otherwise more comprehensively written elsewhere.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bob Bingham

    Frankly, a disappointing book. For all its bulk and the hype surrounding it, this is definitely not an insider's look at how the "Eastern Establishment" operates. Rather, it is one professor's rather slanted interpretation of world history from about 1890 through 1963. Professor Quigley ran out of invectives to hurl at Joe McCarthy, but utters barely a whisper about Harry Hopkins (close adviser to FDR) and other players who likely had more long term influence (and did more damage) than McCarthy. Frankly, a disappointing book. For all its bulk and the hype surrounding it, this is definitely not an insider's look at how the "Eastern Establishment" operates. Rather, it is one professor's rather slanted interpretation of world history from about 1890 through 1963. Professor Quigley ran out of invectives to hurl at Joe McCarthy, but utters barely a whisper about Harry Hopkins (close adviser to FDR) and other players who likely had more long term influence (and did more damage) than McCarthy. For a sound, objective look at history and economics, go to books by Murray Rothbard.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    This is a massive beast of a book covering world history from roughly early 19th century through the early 1960's. Though I had to force myself to focus by setting a minimum page requirement to read per day, it was very interesting and I learned a lot, broadening my knowledge base on certain subjects and revealing my near complete lack of knowledge on others, one of which is economics. Hard work to get through, but worth it. This is a massive beast of a book covering world history from roughly early 19th century through the early 1960's. Though I had to force myself to focus by setting a minimum page requirement to read per day, it was very interesting and I learned a lot, broadening my knowledge base on certain subjects and revealing my near complete lack of knowledge on others, one of which is economics. Hard work to get through, but worth it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andy Raptis

    A great book, not without its weaknesses, especially in the second half with the endless anticommunist ravings. It's quite annoying when the only types of atrocities the writer condemns are the ones done by communists, while others, such as the purges in Indonesia, are barely mentioned. Another thing I didn't like were the last few chapters where the author switches from warfare and economics to psychology of the masses. The chapters about the American middle class and the battle of the sexes are A great book, not without its weaknesses, especially in the second half with the endless anticommunist ravings. It's quite annoying when the only types of atrocities the writer condemns are the ones done by communists, while others, such as the purges in Indonesia, are barely mentioned. Another thing I didn't like were the last few chapters where the author switches from warfare and economics to psychology of the masses. The chapters about the American middle class and the battle of the sexes are downright ridiculous. There is a small part where the corruption of American youth is attributed to corrupt literature featuring necrophilia and coprophilia. This kind of moralizing does nothing but damage the writer's credibility. The best parts are those that concern the first half of the twentieth century. This fellow sure knows the American Banking System, and his narration of World War 2 is more insightful than William Shirer's overrated Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. There is also a very amusing chapter that takes the piss on the Krauts, but on the other hand, the author refuses to write similar chapters for the Americans and British. This pro Anglo-American stance eventually becomes annoying.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Monica Perez

    This is THE book that explains the grand conspiracy. I don't normally go for the intellectual over analysis of social phenomena, but this book is actually a fascinating, comprehensive overview of a history in our time as the subtitle promises. But what made this book famous - or infamous - is how this establishment insider, Georgetown professor Carroll Quigley, tells all about the conspiracy to establish the second coming of the British Empire, albeit under the radar. Quigley names names, dates, This is THE book that explains the grand conspiracy. I don't normally go for the intellectual over analysis of social phenomena, but this book is actually a fascinating, comprehensive overview of a history in our time as the subtitle promises. But what made this book famous - or infamous - is how this establishment insider, Georgetown professor Carroll Quigley, tells all about the conspiracy to establish the second coming of the British Empire, albeit under the radar. Quigley names names, dates, events, plots, puppet institutions & anything you'd want to know about who is directing the course of the world and has been for a hundred years. The author had full access to archives of the most sensitive nature and was excoriated for this expose, but he thought a One World Government would be a good thing and wanted to bring its heroes out into the sun. I plan to read it twice.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris Dietzel

    I'm tapping out on this one. I thought maybe if I took a break from it I might regain some enthusiasm but nope. This is like reading a really thorough encyclopedia. It's not fun. It's so dense you don't retain any of the info. I'm tapping out on this one. I thought maybe if I took a break from it I might regain some enthusiasm but nope. This is like reading a really thorough encyclopedia. It's not fun. It's so dense you don't retain any of the info.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Quigley taught at Georgetown, after a long career that involved him behind the scenes in international bidniss. His perspective is often financial, but his insights are crisp and amazing. This book changed my perspective on history in some interesting ways. Oh, one of his students was a young Bill Clinton.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mad Russian the Traveller

    I just added this to my "to read" list, however stuff like the following may cause me to have some disagreement with this book: "while the Right follows the Manichaean doctrine imported into Christianity by Saint Augustine (evil is a positive force, and man needs strong external discipline to protect him from it)" . I just added this to my "to read" list, however stuff like the following may cause me to have some disagreement with this book: "while the Right follows the Manichaean doctrine imported into Christianity by Saint Augustine (evil is a positive force, and man needs strong external discipline to protect him from it)" .

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    You're not gonna find a better history book. Leave's "The People's History of the United States" in the dust. You're not gonna find a better history book. Leave's "The People's History of the United States" in the dust.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jay D

    I have 8 lectures on the totality of this work at my site and on YouTube.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James

    So far I am a little short of halfway through this tome. I find it very interesting at some points, yet very boring because the economics of it is a bit overwhelming. At the same time it is very interesting where the politics and history of it are giving me a perspective I never really saw before. Of course I do realize that economics and economic policy is what drives a lot of history and motivates politicians to do what they do but that still does not change the fact that as much as I try to u So far I am a little short of halfway through this tome. I find it very interesting at some points, yet very boring because the economics of it is a bit overwhelming. At the same time it is very interesting where the politics and history of it are giving me a perspective I never really saw before. Of course I do realize that economics and economic policy is what drives a lot of history and motivates politicians to do what they do but that still does not change the fact that as much as I try to understand it, economics remains a fairly boring topic to me. I do understand some of the basic principals of it but to indulge myself into a book which is purely economic theory and practice would cause me to put the book down and leave it on the shelf. Fortunately this book does have some rewarding sections which save it from a sleeper, but if I were to rate it at this point (up to beginning of Chapter XIII) I would only give it a 3 star rating and if it were not for the author's superb grasp of economics and it's interplay on the events of world history I would give it an even lower rating of two stars. I really do not fault the author for my low rating of this very important work. My ignorance is part of the problem. I am basing my rating on enjoyability and what I learn from it. I find myself struggling to stay awake on some pages that seem to go on and on regarding economic policy in pre-war Europe, and yet on some sections I can't put the book down when the author ties these policies into the politics and current events of the times. February 4, 2015 - Still reading this tome...I am on the next to last chapter and can see some evidence of Quigley's pompous attitude towards third world countries and societies that do not adhere to the Western style of economics. He suggests that they undergo some pattern changes. Considering how this was written before the Environmental movement of the 1960's I would say he has failed to realize the inadequacies of such Westernization and he has also failed to recognize many of the positive attributes of pastoral and traditional cultures. Despite this oversights, I continue to find this book fascinating in that it has made me aware of many events and personalities in 20th century World History which I had know little or next to nothing about. Finally finished reading this book. The section on the Middle Class was a real mind blower. Quigley is biased towards aristocracy and privilege and he certainly is prejudiced. I can't get over the section where he mentions girls have become so sexually loose that they even revert to dating "negro boys." His racial prejudice is really apparent towards the end. This book is 98% Tragedy and 2% Hope. It was very good in some parts and yet very bland and even boring in others. Some sections I had to really struggle to get through, but I preserved and I am glad I did. Overall it was somewhat a disappointment. I was hoping to give it a four star rating but due to the sheer boredom of some parts and topped off with the racial and generational prejudices I have to give it a mediocre rating of three stars. If it weren't for the very informative sections where I really did learn something new (i.e. planning strategies of pre-WWI and role of Colonel House in the Wilson Administration as well as a few other areas of interest I would have given it a two star rating, which are books I manage to finish but have learned nothing and found nothing rewarding or useful to say about them. Fortunately this book did have some redeeming qualities.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Varapanyo Bhikkhu

    Kerry Bolton: Nearly fifty years later, in 1966, another scholar, this one a liberal with impeccable Establishment credentials, stated something similar to that of Spengler in his magnum opus,Tragedy and Hope. Professor Carroll Quigley was one of the most influential historians in the US. He taught at the Foreign Service School at Georgetown University, and at Harvard and Princeton. One of his students at Georgetown, who was to pay him public tribute during his nomination acceptance speech for th Kerry Bolton: Nearly fifty years later, in 1966, another scholar, this one a liberal with impeccable Establishment credentials, stated something similar to that of Spengler in his magnum opus,Tragedy and Hope. Professor Carroll Quigley was one of the most influential historians in the US. He taught at the Foreign Service School at Georgetown University, and at Harvard and Princeton. One of his students at Georgetown, who was to pay him public tribute during his nomination acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential candidacy, was Bill Clinton.[35] Quigley cannot therefore be dismissed smugly as a ‘conspiracy crank,’ ‘right-wing extremist,’ or ‘amateur historian.’ What Quigley stated is that there exists an ‘international network’ of international bankers and other super-capitalists whose object is to use their influence to create a system of world political and financial control. Quigley writes: There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network[36] which . . . has no aversion to co-operating with Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records.[37] I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies . . . but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.[38] Quigley explained, additionally, that: ‘It is this power structure which the Radical Right in the United States has been attacking for years in the belief that they were attacking the Communists.’[39] Quigley, as one of the Establishment’s leading academics, had exposed a ‘network’ that desires to remain secret. Certain conspiracy theorists made extensive use of Quigley’s book, and it became available in a pirate edition after Quigley’s publisher scuttled its circulation.[40]Tragedy and Hope was comprehensively reviewed and analysed by W. Cleon Skousen in The Naked Capitalist,[41] and was extensively used by Gary Allen in the underground best-seller None Dare Call It Conspiracy.[42] The power mechanism that Quigley was writing of is that of the international bankers, who, Quigley states, are ‘devoted to secrecy and the secret use of financial influence in political life.’[43] Quigley identifies this ‘international network’ as that of the international bankers who brought into their ‘financial network’ the commercial and other types of financial institution: [T]o form . . . a single financial system on an international scale which manipulated the quantity and flow of money so that they were able to influence, if not control, governments on one side and industries on the other. The men who did this . . . aspired to establish dynasties of international bankers and were at least as successful at this as were many of the dynastic political rulers.[44] Among these ‘dynasties of international bankers,’ Quigley lists ‘Baring, Lazard, Erlanger, Warburg, Schröder, the Speyers, Mirabaud, Mallet, Fould, and above all Rothschild and Morgan’;[45] to which we can add the Rockefellers and Soros. Bill Clinton, ‘Acceptance Speech,’ Democratic National Convention, New York, 16 July 1992. [36]In tracing this ‘international network’ of global bankers to the Round Tables Groups founded by Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner for the purposes of creating a ‘new world order’ based around the British Empire, Quigley errs in ascribing the ongoing machinations of the international bankers to ‘Anglophiles’. At the time international finance was merely using the European colonial empires as the most convenient means of establishing their dominion over much of the world. World War I destroyed Europe’s monarchs, and World War II finished off the empires. International finance had outgrown the confines of imperialism and sought on the ruins of the old empires a global – as distinct from imperial — system of control, first via the ill-fated League of Nations after World War I, and then after World War II through the United Nations Organisation. The centre of Finance capital had shifted to Wall Street and in conjunction with the USSR (pursuing its own interests that happened to coincide with those of international finance in this respect) both worked to divest Europe of her empires. In fact the British imperialists who founded the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and the Wall Street internationalists and intellectuals who were represented by Col. Edward House’s think tank The Inquiry (subsequently the Council on Foreign Relations), had a falling out over post-war aims. Thom Burnett states that the intention of these American internationalists was to unite with the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and that this had been agreed upon at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1918. The original intention had been to create an American Institute of International Affairs. However it soon transpired that neither the British nor the Americans were eager to continue with a joint project. (Burnett, p. 102.) Peter Grose, the official CFR historian, confirms this early Anglo-US breach in the official CFR history, Continuing The Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996: ‘To Shepardson fell the task of informing the British colleagues of this unfortunate reality. Crossing to London, he recalled thinking that “it might be quite unpleasant to have to say for the first time that the Paris Group of British colleagues could not be members” of the American branch. “The explanation to the British was begun (shall we say?) haltingly. However, instead of the frigid look which had been feared, the faces of the British governing body showed slightly red and very happy. They had reached the same conclusion in reverse, but had not yet found a good way of getting word to the other side of the Atlantic!”’ (Peter Grose, Chapter: ‘The Inquiry’). [37]It is assumed that the ‘network’ Quigley is here referring to is the Council on Foreign Relations. [38]Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (New York: Macmillan Co., 1966), p. 950. [39]Ibid., p. 956. [40]Quigley was dismissive of the ‘conspiracy theorists’ and their use of his book. He conceded he did not know everything, and was not a member of this network (although apparently trusted enough to be allowed access to its papers). However, when investigative journalist Robert Eringer was researching his book on the globalist power networks, he contacted Quigley and was told, ‘To be blunt, you could find yourself in trouble dealing with this subject.’ Quigley told Eringer that his career as a lecturer in the government institution circuit ‘was all but ruined because of the twenty or so pages [of a 1300 page book] he had written about the existence of Round Table Groups.’ Robert Eringer, The Global Manipulators: The Bilderberg Group . . . The Trilateral Commission . . . Covert Power Groups of the West (Bristol: Pentacle Books, 1980), pp. 9-10. Tragedy and Hope seems to have been scuttled by the publisher who destroyed the plates, according to the account Eringer received from Quigley. Eringer, ibid., p. 9. [41]W. Cleon Skousen, The Naked Capitalist (Salt Lake City: Skousen, 1971). [42]Gary Allen, None Dare Call It Conspiracy (Rossmore, California: Concord Press, 1973). [43]Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, p. 52. [44]Ibid., p. 51. Revolution from Above [45]Ibid., p. 52.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Frank

    I read a good chunk of this book and enjoyed it. It definitely has some bad "hot" takes, specifically with respect to monetary policy, but otherwise offers a pretty robust history of the late 19th-early 20th century. Given how long this book is and how much much history I've recently read, I don't feel sufficiently motivated to slog through this. I think it's possible I someday return to finish this book. The chapter on rationalism and science during World War 2 is fascinating and worth reading. I read a good chunk of this book and enjoyed it. It definitely has some bad "hot" takes, specifically with respect to monetary policy, but otherwise offers a pretty robust history of the late 19th-early 20th century. Given how long this book is and how much much history I've recently read, I don't feel sufficiently motivated to slog through this. I think it's possible I someday return to finish this book. The chapter on rationalism and science during World War 2 is fascinating and worth reading. I excerpted it here for anyone curious: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scot León Pfuntner

    Excellent as a history lesson of the world conflicts and societal environment between 1860 and 1960ish. However, I only give it three stars because of the obvious slant of the author toward international intervention in global problems. Quigley adopts the world view of secular humanists that man is basically good and a little lower than a god in the universal hierarchy of authority. Therefore, humans should be able to control and perfect our environment, international relationships, inter-ethnic Excellent as a history lesson of the world conflicts and societal environment between 1860 and 1960ish. However, I only give it three stars because of the obvious slant of the author toward international intervention in global problems. Quigley adopts the world view of secular humanists that man is basically good and a little lower than a god in the universal hierarchy of authority. Therefore, humans should be able to control and perfect our environment, international relationships, inter-ethnic relationships, etc... through the power of goodness and diversity. However, since his worldview is flawed, he neglects the fact that all people are sinful and left to themselves are self-centered, self-ingratiating, self-aggrandizing, and self-seeking. Jeremiah 17:9King James Version (KJV) 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? The ability of mankind to obtain any level of diversity or goodwill toward others is completely dependent on whether the members of the diverse group have individually received the grace and power of God to do so. Otherwise, all conflicts between the peoples of Earth will continually result in failure. Quigley has willful disdain for anyone with a different opinion concerning international matters and refers to them as "neo-isolationists." He neglects to consider the ramifications of foreign entanglements and naively sees all conflict on the world stage as lack of consideration for fellow man. People have family, local, nearby environmental, and national problems to work out in our own country and don't need to spend trillions of dollars to "volunteer" as the Global Earth Police Force for the planet.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I am reading this book aloud with Evan! Quigley was BClinton's , or old-blue-eyes, as I like to call him, mentor. What an ambish book, trying to cover "world history in our time" This book is dense as War and Peace, and War What Is It Good For. I am only reading parts of it; we are on page 532,372 and the topic is McCarthyism and the Cold War. If you are knowledgeable about this McCarthyism topic, or history in general, let's talk! I would like to compare Quigley's finance and detail heavy text on I am reading this book aloud with Evan! Quigley was BClinton's , or old-blue-eyes, as I like to call him, mentor. What an ambish book, trying to cover "world history in our time" This book is dense as War and Peace, and War What Is It Good For. I am only reading parts of it; we are on page 532,372 and the topic is McCarthyism and the Cold War. If you are knowledgeable about this McCarthyism topic, or history in general, let's talk! I would like to compare Quigley's finance and detail heavy text on The Cold War to Howard Zinn's text on the subject in The History of The United States. You could also compare Rambo movies to see who the US portrayed as the enemy at that time in history (one Rambo movie has the Ruskies as enemy agnst the Afghans, another Rambo portrays the Afghans as evil!) I am learning so much by reading and analyzing this with my honey! God, and I do love the sound of my own voice.. There are jokes hidden in Tragedy and Hope's three page run-on sentences!!I promise!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    This took me well over a year to finish reading. It was alternately boring and fascinating. In the end it was quite worthwhile, because it helped me see that there is a lot of good in the tradition of Western Civilization. I have to admit I was ignorant of this view for a large portion of my life. In spite of all the coercion and deception, the West is founded on solid human principles. For example, there is the rule of law (as opposed to the law of the jungle). Quigley's historical message is a This took me well over a year to finish reading. It was alternately boring and fascinating. In the end it was quite worthwhile, because it helped me see that there is a lot of good in the tradition of Western Civilization. I have to admit I was ignorant of this view for a large portion of my life. In spite of all the coercion and deception, the West is founded on solid human principles. For example, there is the rule of law (as opposed to the law of the jungle). Quigley's historical message is as relevant as ever. The sustained attack on the traditions of the West that has been going on for generations has now reached it's denouement. The thrust of the message is much more toward honest and authoritative analysis than incendiary rhetoric, which makes me wonder why it was so threatening to the powers-that-be (deep state, cabal, empire, illuminadonkey) that they had to ban it by destroying the printing plates shortly after the first publication?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Herrholz Paul

    A book with the title 'History of the world' deserves to be treated with caution. What I am finding with this particular book is that the parts of history that it handles give me the feeling that they are momentous and very significant. It is also well written with a logical intuitive style which helps me take on the material. I have been choosing parts which interest me most rather than reading from start to finish but find myself reading all of the remaining parts as the educational value cont A book with the title 'History of the world' deserves to be treated with caution. What I am finding with this particular book is that the parts of history that it handles give me the feeling that they are momentous and very significant. It is also well written with a logical intuitive style which helps me take on the material. I have been choosing parts which interest me most rather than reading from start to finish but find myself reading all of the remaining parts as the educational value continues to hook me. Update 29.02.2020 - the scope of this book is simply stupendous! I have just finished reading about the rise of the Third Reich and now I am reading about the British parliamentary system. In fact I may have read this once before and I am starting to highlight where I have read already.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brad Jensen

    You must read this book. But in order to understand the full magnitude of the information contained within you need to forget most of your previously help views and beliefs of history, economics, social studies, technology, phycology, and geopolitics, as they are most likely colored or flat out false. This tome exposes the mechanisms of the true power structure that has driven the world and has for the last 200+ years.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The neoisolationists have taken over and Quigley's rolling in his grave. Let's hope 50 million people won't die again as we transition from the 20th to the 21st Century. The neoisolationists have taken over and Quigley's rolling in his grave. Let's hope 50 million people won't die again as we transition from the 20th to the 21st Century.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jarrad Klapko

    Read this if you want to shatter your perception of how the world works. Also good for inducing sleep.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    One of the finest books ever. You MUST read this book. Quigley explains it all. He GETS it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aljan

    Mind numbingly boring.

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