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America went digital and much of the world went democratic in the 1990s, and this documentary, an installment of a 10-volume set chronicling the entire 20th century, takes a broad view of the recent past. Beginning with the collapse of the Communist bloc and the breaking up of the Soviet Union, the video also covers how South Africa moved beyond apartheid and the U.S. waged a fast and bloody war in the Persian Gulf. The glory from the war was short-lived, and President Bush, bedeviled by domestic economic problems, soon found himself moving out of the White House as Bill Clinton moved in. A segment focuses on how politics in the 1990s became analyzed to an intense degree, thanks in part to the explosion in media coverage due to the spread of cable television. The endless investigations of President Clinton are referred to at some length. The warfare in the Balkans is covered (including the NATO air strikes on Kosovo), as are other news events of the decade, including the Branch Davidian siege, the rise of the militia movement, the frightening rise in school shootings, and, of course, the O.J. Simpson trial. Celebrities of the 1990s, including Michael Jordan and Princess Diana, are also mentioned as having played a central part in the decade. --Robert J. McNamara
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