A History of the Twentieth Century Vol. 2: 1933 - 1951

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9780002158688: A History of the Twentieth Century Vol. 2: 1933 - 1951

From Britain’s ‘greatest living factual historian’ (Paul Johnson, Evening Standard), the second volume of the history of the world in the twentieth century.

Martin Gilbert is Britain’s leading popular historian. His three-volume History of the Twentieth Century, of which this is the second, is a complete global narrative history of our century.

Martin Gilbert is the undisputed master of narrative history. He has an extraordinary ability to muster detailed facts into rich and compelling prose.

The first volume ended with Roosevelt as the newly-elected President of the United States and Hitler appointed as Chancellor of Germany. The second volume takes the story on to the end of 1965, with man about to land on the moon and with the two principal defeated states of the Second World War emerging as economic powers.

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Review:

‘Martin Gilbert is the most prodigious author of our time… He is a phenomenon who arouses envy among less productive professional historians… This is a fascinating treatment… I congratulate Gilbert on his good work and look forward to the next two volumes.’
Paul Johnson, Sunday Times

‘Sir Martin Gilbert is one of Britain’s most eminent historians and prolific authors… His knowledge and scholarship make him in many ways ideally suited to write a history of our century and great insights emerge.’
John Ramsden, Financial Times

‘There can be few other contemporary historians who would be capable of such a work calling for so much knowledge and so resolute a control of a flood of disparate material.’
Philip Ziegler, Literary Review

‘Gilbert has a fine eye for ironic detail.’
Orlando Figes, Sunday Telegraph

From the Back Cover:

The acclaimed first volume of Martin Gilbert’s global narrative history ended with Roosevelt as the newly-elected President of the United States and Hitler appointed as Chancellor of Germany. In this second volume he charts the dramatic and inexorable build-up to the Second World War, a war in which more than forty-six million people were killed, and which caused deep and lasting upheavals in the world’s social, political and national parameters. As the British conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham, said, ‘When the history of the first half of this century comes to be written – it will be acknowledged the most stupid and brutal in civilisation.’

Yet the attempt to preserve humane values, to maintain the rule of law and to uphold the rights and dignity of the individual are powerful themes in this volume, in which the conflicts of nations and the aspirations of their rulers served both to endanger mankind through war and civil war, and to seek to create a more decent life for hundreds of millions of people. He takes the story to the end of 1951, with the United States and the Soviet Union – joint victors of the struggle against Germany and Japan – grappling to establish the primacy of their respective systems and when, amid the continuing conflict in Korea, the spectre of nuclear war threatened to become a terrible reality. In the shadow of this new threat, not only the great powers but many small nations sought the path of security, self-preservation and independence, or safety in new alliances.

Once again Martin Gilbert proves himself the undisputed master of narrative history, moving from continent to continent and country to country with ease to convey the dramas, struggles and achievements of the twentieth century, mustering a wealth of intricate historical detail into the rich mosaic. As in the previous volume, his chief focus is the sufferings, aspirations and achievements of individuals. His writing is epic in scope but always human in sympathy. This is the definitive chronicle of our age.

‘Martin Gilbert is the most prodigious author of our time, a phenomenon who arouses envy among less productive professional historians…This is a fascinating treatment… I congratulate Gilbert on his good work and look forward to the next two volumes.’
Paul Johnson, 'SundayTimes'

‘Gilbert is one of Britain’s most eminent historiansand profile authors… His knowledge and scholarship make him in many ways ideally suited to write a history of our century and great insigts emerge.’
John Ramsden, 'Financial Times'

‘There can be few other contemporary historians who would be capable of such a work calling for so much knowledge and so resolute a control of a flood of disparate material’
Philip Ziegler, 'Literary Review'

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