Jacques Barzun

Cultural historian

Jacques Barzun "represents a growing host of men of ideas who not only have the respect of the nation, but who return the compliment," TIME wrote in a 1956 cover story on the pre-eminent U.S. cultural historian and public intellectual. Although the French-born Barzun, who died Oct. 25 at 104, wrote dozens of books on literature, philosophy, history and music, perhaps his most famous was From Dawn to Decadence, which arrived when he was 92 and covered five centuries of Western culture, warning of its decline. The glorification of rebellion and the postmodern assault on the idea of truth, he feared,...

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