I’m about two-thirds of the way through Jacques Barzun’s 800-hundred-page survey titled From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the present; 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (2000). This book is as continually engaging as any novel I’ve ever read. It fills a huge number of gaps in my knowledge of these five centuries and illuminates the lives of many important figures who had been no more than names or names plus a few facts, conceptions, and misconceptions in my mind. It’s replete with insights and thought-provoking observations by the author. It’s given me a sense of the roiling progressions and reverberations of history that I never had before. I’ll have more to say about it when I finish reading it.