From Britain’s ‘greatest living factual historian’ (Paul Johnson, Evening Standard), the third and final volume of his magisterial global history of the twentieth century.
Martin Gilbert is Britain’s leading popular historian. His three-volume History of the Twentieth Century is a complete global narrative history of our century. He is the undisputed master of narrative history with an extraordinary ability to muster detailed facts into rich and compelling prose. Volume II ended in 1951, as the world recovered from the devastation of World War II and the nuclear threat increased. This, his third and final volume, takes us up to the present day, weaving a rich historical narrative of the multifarious and contradictory events of the last fifty years, which ranges across the bloody events of many wars (from Korea to Bosnia), the post-war resurrection of Europe and the United Nations, the Arms Race, the shooting of JFK, the advent of computerisation, Man’s arrival on the moon, Aids and heart transplants, Tiananmen Square and the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is history which makes sense of the most destructive yet most creative century humanity has ever experienced.
FROM THE REVIEWS FOR THE EARLIER VOLUMES: ‘Martin Gilbert is a phenomenon who arouses envy among less productive professional historians… This is fascinating. I congratulate Gilbert on his good work .’ PAUL JOHNSON, Sunday 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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In this third and final volume of his acclaimed global history of the twentieth century, Martin Gilbert takes us to the present day, ranging across the wars in Korea, Vietnam and Bosnia, the post-war resurrection of Europe, famine in Africa, apartheid, the arms race, the shooting of President Kennedy, the dawn of the computer age, Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon, and the extraordinary advances in medical science. The undisputed master of narrative history, Gilbert reanimates all the familiar events of the last fifty years, always looking behind the headlines at the experience of individuals, extraordinary in their ordinariness, and their reactions to the events that have shaped the twentieth century. In so doing he casts new light on many regions of the world and episodes of our history that have been pushed aside and forgotten. This is history that will change the way we understand and view the past – and approach the future.
'A mammoth undertaking, a miracle of dense compression, demonstrating a sense of proportion sustained with extraordinary self-discipline and a capacity to absorb, digest and shape a mountain of miscellaneous material…A salient and invaluable reference book, austerely non-judgmental, lucid and measured.'
PHILIP ZEIGLER, 'Daily Telegraph'
'Gilbert's energy and broad grasp is a standing reproach to most history dons who spend lifetimes fidgeting over single narrow subjects.'
PAUL JOHNSON, 'Sunday Telegraph'
''Challenge to Civilisation' is Martin Gilbert's name for the last volume of his history of the twentieth century, but it could well characterise the century as a whole…In his great work, the writing is lucid, the pace perfectly judged, the evidence vividly conjured. The horrors are heightened by a style of almost Confucian reticence, which teaches without didacticism. In Gilbert's vision of history, the vast range never blurs the human scale. He is inspired by a victim of the Japanese brutalisation of Canton in 1937: "Historians may appropriate only a line or two to record this present catastrophe, but it is tremendous to those of us that are in it."'
FELIPE FERNĀNDEZ-ARMESTO, 'Sunday Times'
Martin Gilbert was born in London in 1936 and educated at Highgate School and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1962, he became research assistant to Randolph Churchill and, after Randolph’s death, succeeded him as biographer of Sir Winston Churchill.
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006376630