Jacques Barzun, R.I.P.

by John J. Miller

The eminent historian is dead at 104.

In 1997, Dr. Barzun moved to San Antonio, where he finished the 800-page “From Dawn to Decadence.” … Given the book’s title, some readers suggested that he saw the contemporary period as a new and hopeless Dark Age. Instead, he said, he was a believer in chaos, “a sudden twist in the course of events,” heralding a brighter time. He added, “I have always been — I think any student of history almost inevitably is — a cheerful pessimist.”