Despite the sound of finality in the title, Guardini does not mourn the passing of the modern world, anymore than he longs nostalgically for the medieval world, which he succinctly summarizes and defines. The modern world had its own faults and fallacies, and the barren fields of two world wars and many lesser ones were the seed-beds of the dangers of what we now call our postmodern world: a consumerist society, a blind trust in technology, the emergence of the ''mass man.'' Guardini warns that these developments weaken the bonds between man and God, man and nature, man and culture. In the second part of this essay, ''Power and Responsibility,'' Guardini examines the role of power and authority in the postmodern world, as it inherits the legacy of totalitarian despots and regimes, and struggles to nurture human dignity and free will. Reissued thirty years after its original publication, The End of the Modern World
is a book that can ''cauterize the spirit'' (Frederick Wilhelmsen), offering faith ''neither in man nor in history, but in God alone and in His Providence.''
An Eighth Day View:
This expanded edition of Guardini's classic work includes the original text of The End of the Modern World, as well as the entirety of its explicit sequel, Power and Responsibility, in which Guardini analyzes modern man's conception of himself in the world and examines nature and use of power. The principle of individual responsibility weaves both works into a seamless, comprehensive, and compelling moral statement.