Oh, Hans, it's true--we can get through 3 volumes of the Friedell's Kulturgeschichte, appreciating its idiosyncracies, its fine anecdotal style, humanism, and tragic vision, while noting its spotty misunderstandings, its exaggerations, and we can feel moved to write on the Internet perhaps a helpful review, a thoughtfully qualified 4-starred recommendation, hoping that somehow a reader or two (of two) out there in the English-speaking world may feel moved to hunt down this long out-of-print, strange, magnificent, entertaining history, but nevertheless, in the end, the pluto-oligarchy will stick it to us.
I got mine out of the St. Louis Public Library.
No luck here.
Here's an electronic Volume I, anyways.
Here's Clive James on Friedell.
and here is how it all ends.