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A History of the Twentieth Century: 1933-1951

Gilbert, Martin

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ISBN 10: 0688100651 / ISBN 13: 9780688100650
Published by William Morrow & Co, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 1999
Condition: Very Good- Hardcover
From La Maison (Bridgewater, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Volume 2 of 3 volume set. Volume 2 only. Stated First US Edition. Black paper over board and maroon cloth spine. Raised band on bottom of spine is pulling away from spine at bit toward the back of the book. Does not affect integrity of binding, still square and tight. Light shelfwear. 1050 indexed pp. DJ has closed tear at top rear corner and light uniform wear, light edgewear, not price-clipped. Bookseller Inventory # 003404

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A History of the Twentieth Century: 1933-...

Publisher: William Morrow & Co, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good-

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good-

Edition: First US Edition

About this title


Volume two of Martin Gilbert's three-volume narrative history of the century charts the years 1933 to 1960. It begins as Roosevelt embarks on the New Deal and ends as Kennedy is elected to the presidency. The opening chapters cover the turmoil that proceeded World War II: the Depression, the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese aggression in China, and the relentless spread of Nazi power. WorldWar II dominates the middle section of the volume--as it dominated the lives of those who lived through the period. And in the postwar chapters, Gilbert examines the imposition of the Iron Curtain and the growth of the Cold War, the Berlin Blockade, and eventually dwarfing so much else, the nuclear confrontation. Nationalism remains a feature of this volume as it was of the last -- with the emergence of the "third world" as the European empires collapse, first in Asia and then in Africa.

As in the first volume, influential art, literature, and music, as well as epidemics and natural disasters, all have their place. Many of the events described are seen through the eyes and words of those who were present. The author has combed an incredibly wide array of sources to bring to the reader a vivid picture of the life, death, patterns, and flavors of the middle part of the century.


"For virtually every episode described in these pages," Oxford historian Martin Gilbert remarks, "a complete volume could be written." Cramming 19 years into just over 900 pages of text (the maps, photos, index, and bibliography easily stretch the full length over 1,000) is a daunting task, but Gilbert rises to the challenge with a panoramic effort, offering a genuinely global perspective that, coming after several looks back at the "American century," serves as an excellent reminder that there's a whole world beyond the borders of the United States.

The Second World War, as one might expect, holds a central position in the text, occupying the entire middle third and exerting a powerful hold over the events preceding and following it. The opening years, for example, contrast the efforts of many world leaders to maintain lasting peace despite the rise of Nazi Germany. The years after the war see Europe--and then the rest of the world--divided up between the two power blocs engaged in a new, "cold" war. Gilbert neatly compresses his theme of the defense of liberty, and the lessons learned in the fight against authoritarian regimes, by noting that "in 1938, Neville Chamberlain had spoken of Czechoslovakia as 'a far-away country of which we know nothing.' Truman said in 1950, 'Korea is a small country thousands of miles away, but what is happening there is important to every American.'"

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