This extraordinarily wide-ranging study looks at the dilemmas of life today and shows how they need not have arisen. Portraits of living people and historical figures are placed alongside each other as Zeldin discusses how men and women have lost and regained hope; how they have learnt to have interesting conversations; how some have acquired an immunity to loneliness; how new forms of love and desire have been invented; how respect has become more valued than power; how the art of escaping from one's troubles has developed; why even the privileged are often gloomy; and why parents and children are changing their minds about what they want from each other.
Extraordinary and beautiful...the most exciting and ambitious work of non-fiction I have read in more than a decade
One of the year's most original and outstanding books...fascinating labyrinths of history and human experience, which he perceptively, intructively and absorbingly explores. This is a read to relish
Theodore Zeldin's all-embracing history of our feelings throughout the ages [is] brilliantly original and unsettling... His scope is dazzling... A seductive and unusually thought provoking book
Bubbling wit... Zeldin makes life exciting for the reader. It is like being on some careering fair-ground ride that whirls you from one limelit fragment of civilisation to the next at breakneck speed...gatecrashing all the cultures of the world
It's the sort of book that will go on being famous long after we're all dead... If ever a volume deserved that overused ecomium "this book will change your life", it is this one