History of the 20th Century

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9780006376644: History of the 20th Century

From Britain's `greatest living factual historian' (Paul Johnson, Evening Standard), his magisterial global history of the twentieth century.Martin Gilbert is Britain's leading popular historian. His History of the Twentieth Century is a complete global narrative history of our century. The undisputed master of narrative history, he has an extraordinary ability to muster detailed facts into rich and compelling prose. He retells the events of this, the most horrifying and surprising century that the world has ever experienced, and makes sense of them in a global (and personal) context. As the countries of the world fought and recovered from two World Wars. This single-volume history takes us up to the present day, weaving a rich historical narrative of the multifarious and contradictory events of the last century , 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.'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 ZIEGLER, Daily Telegraph

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Review:

Martin Gilbert, official biographer of Winston Churchill, is a British historian of the highest credentials. He attempts here in 1,000 short pages to encapsulate the tumultuous events of the second half of the 20th century. In straightforward language, he presents a chronological narrative of what happened around the world. Each year is given its own chapter. His direct style recaptures the immediacy of the epoch-making events he describes, and the book sometimes reads like a breaking news report. The author maintains a laudable objectivity: The material is not Eurocentric but attempts to provide a genuine world overview. Besides politics, he includes stories with social significance, such as environmental disasters, the plight of refugees, even the sociological impact of birth-control pills. Thirty-six maps clarify accounts of military campaigns and international and ethnic rivalries, and 52 photographs present iconic images of the period. What Gilbert cannot do within this narrative format is analyze or comment at length on the episodes he is describing. Themes such as the growing awareness of human rights or the increasingly interrelated nature of complex global phenomena emerge almost by accident; they are not defined and developed, and the book becomes a prodigious procession of unfolding events. The value of A History of the Twentieth Century is as an encyclopedia, as an easily accessible store of raw material: in this sense it is a useful addition to the amateur historian's library. --John Stevenson

About the Author:

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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Martin Gilbert
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2002)
ISBN 10: 0006376649 ISBN 13: 9780006376644
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006376649

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