This book is something else. It is not for the faint of heart but is definitely worth the effort (in my case about 7 months). Obviously, Paul Johnson is conservative, but it is hard to be upset about a historian doing what all historians do-he judges stuff as good or bad. He is able to take situations and go beyond the pure facts and into the implications or results. This is what a good historian does in my eyes.
The book switches flawlessly between subjects. It is a masterpiece. I’ll be reading along and without even noticing the topic switches. Its fluid and well done. Without such transitions, a book covering such a length of time and geography would be impossible. Paul Johnson does the impossible.
There are a few issues. Number one is I don’t know French and some passages from French politicians are not translated into English. That is annoying. Also, I noticed in the topics about Germany, there are a lot of names that aren’t introduced so the reader is required to have a solid background. For most parts I was okay, for a few chapters (about Germany and much of the third world) I was lost at times.
Overall, well worth the time and effort. You feel good when its done. 4 of 5 stars.