The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century

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9780198204282: The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century

Of all the centuries in recorded history, none has seen more change, none has ended more differently than it began, than the twentieth. In 1900, Queen Victoria still ruled over England, the Imperial Manchu dynasty over China, and the Romanov Tsars over Russia. The cinema was in its infancy, radio and television still to be invented. The first cars were on the road, but air travel existed only in earthbound imaginations. And now, as Yeats said, all is "changed utterly."
In this ambitious book, twenty-four of the most distinguished scholars in the world survey the momentous events and the significant themes of the twentieth century in compact, scholarly essays. The contributors tackle political issues region by region as well as non-political topics in subjects such as physics, modernism in art, international economics, and the impact of new technologies on culture. We have William H. McNeill on communications, disease, and demography, Alan Ryan on the growth of a global culture, James Patterson on the United States since 1945, Jonathan Spence on China, Lawrence Freedman on the confrontation of the superpowers, Alan Knight on Latin America, Ralf Dahrendorf on the Twenty-First Century, and much more. The authors trace the continuities which have persisted over the past hundred years and analyze the changes which have marked the century's progress. Early chapters take a global overview of the century as a whole, from a variety of perspectives--demographic, scientific, economic, and cultural. Further chapters chart the century's course, continent by continent and region by region, all written by acknowledged experts.
Beautifully illustrated with both color and black and white plates, and with a detailed chronology, suggestions for further reading, and a full index, The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century is an invaluable repository of information and insight about the endlessly fascinating century we live in.

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From Queen Victoria, the Manchu dynasty, and Romanov czars to the death of Princess Diana, the return of Hong Kong to China, and the peace treaty between Russia and Chechnya; from the launching of the first zeppelin, DNA "fingerprinting," NASA spaceships on Jupiter and Neptune, and the ascendancy of the Internet, the 20th century has been a dynamic and momentous time.

Edited by Michael Howard (from the University of Oxford) and William Roger Louis (of the University of Texas at Austin), with essays contributed by a fine collection of history scholars, the Oxford History of the Twentieth Century describes the economic, cultural, and political scene into which the 20th century was born, then proceeds with essays on topics such as "The Growth of a World Economy," by Robert Skidelsky; "The Growth of a Global Culture," by Alan Ryan; "The European Colonial Empires," by William Roger Louis; and "Europe in the Age of the Two World Wars," by Michael Howard. Alongside these are interesting essays on the Soviet Union, the emergence of Japan, and the cold war, as well as perceptive chapters on China, Africa, and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and International Law. The chronology appendix, informative and concise, covers politics and international relations, science, technology, medicine, and culture, from 1900 to 1997, and is a useful reference tool, while the main text of the book describes, discusses, and analyzes the century's major events, shifts of power, trends, evolutions, and transformations. Insightful, lucid, and engaging, it skillfully fills the 20th-century-reference-shelf niche. --Stephanie Gold

About the Author:


Michael Howard is former Regius Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford. He lives in England. Wm Roger Louis is the Kerr Professor of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin.

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