Cultural Amnesia

Notes in the Margin of My Time

4.11 based on 908 ratings & 145 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 04.09.2008
ISBN: 9780330462471
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

‘In this book can be heard the merest edge of an enormous conversation. As they never were in life, we can imagine the speakers all gathered in some vast room, wearing name tags in case they don’t recognize each other (although some recognize each other all too well, and avoid contact). My heroes and heroines are here. The reader will recognize some of their names, while other names will be more obscure. My intellectual betes noires are here too, and the same division might apply.’

An almanac combining a comprehensive survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is Clive James’ unique take on the places and the faces that shaped the twentieth-century. From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Wittgenstein, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record – and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.

In the media

This is a beautiful book. James proves himself not only to be in possession of a towering intellect, but a singular ability to communicate his passions.
Observer
An eclectic journey through the 20th century, as Clive James explores the careers of luminaries such as Charles de Gaulle and Charlie Chaplin.
Daily Express
[A] fabulously gifted, enviably well-read, generously inclusive, and always commonsensical writer
New York Review of Books