Charles Johnson, Combing the Historical Record

Charles Johnson i i

hide captionAmong his many pursuits, Charles Johnson can list fiction, history, Buddhism... and cartooning.

Charles Johnson

Among his many pursuits, Charles Johnson can list fiction, history, Buddhism... and cartooning.

Charles Johnson is a renowned novelist, essayist and writer of short stories. His novel Middle Passage won the 1990 National Book Award.

He is also a cartoonist and a Buddhist (his article "Dharma for a Dangerous Time" appears in the September issue of the Buddhist publication Shambala Sun. Lately, his own reading has been focused again on what history has to teach us.

Charles Johnson's Reading List

Cover of 'Dark Ages America'

hide captionMorris Berman's vision of bleak days for the American empire is among Charles Johnson's contemporary reading.

W.W. Norton

Given the great suffering in our world, domestically and globally, my summer reading has been focused on the rise and fall of civilizations.

In my own current and recent writing, I've been rereading and drawing upon these books:

A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee.

The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler.

An Outline of History by H.G. Wells.

Among contemporary writers on culture, I've been reading and working with Morris Berman, specifically:

The Twilight of American Culture.

Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire.

Books Featured In This Story

A Study of History
A Study of History

Abridgement of Volumes 1-VI

by Arnold Joseph Toynbee

Paperback, v. <2 > | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • A Study of History
  • Abridgement of Volumes 1-VI
  • Arnold Joseph Toynbee
The Decline of the West
The Decline of the West

by Oswald Spengler, Helmut Werner, Arthur, Sir Helps and Charles Francis Atkinson

Paperback, 414 pages | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • The Decline of the West
  • Oswald Spengler, Helmut Werner, et al
The Outline of History
The Outline of History

Prehistory to the Roman Republic

by H.G. Wells, William Ross and J. F. Horrabin

Paperback, 2 v. | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • The Outline of History
  • Prehistory to the Roman Republic
  • H.G. Wells, William Ross, et al
The Twilight of American Culture
The Twilight of American Culture

by Morris Berman

Paperback, 204 pages | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • The Twilight of American Culture
  • Morris Berman
Dark Ages America
Dark Ages America

The Final Phase of Empire

by Morris Berman

Hardcover, 385 pages | purchase

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Purchase Featured Books

  • Dark Ages America
  • The Final Phase of Empire
  • Morris Berman

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