Events That Changed the World in the Twentieth Century / Edition 1

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The aftershocks of the volatile 20th century will be felt for generations to come. In order to understand the current and future direction of the world, it is imperative to reflect on this century's seminal events and their lasting impact. Designed for students, this unique resource offers detailed descriptions and expert analysis of the 20th century's most important events: World War I, the Russian Revolution, the Rise of Fascism, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Chinese Revolution, the end of Colonialism and the Rise of the Third World, European unification, and the collapse of the Soviet union. Each of the events is dealt with in a separate chapter. An introductory essay presenting the facts about each event precedes an interpretive essay by a recognized authority on the event. Exploring beyond the traditional textbook treatment of history, these interpretive essays consider the immediate and far-reaching ramifications of each event. Through this innovative approach, students will be inspired to further analyze these events not only from a historical perspective, but also in the context of the world in which they live today.

In order to make complex history easily understandable, the ]ntroductory essay for each event provides factual background in a clear, concise, chronological manner. Written for a general readership, the interpretive essays assess each event in terms of its political, economic, sociocultural, and international/diplomatic impact. Some essays validate the norm, while others challenge conventional wisdom; all reflect the most recent scholarship concerning each event. Each interpretive essay is followed by an annotated bibliography that identifies the most important and most recent scholarship about the respective events. A photo of each event offers a visual component to the narrative. The volume contains four useful appendices: a glossary of names, events, organizations, treaties, and terms; a timeline of important events in 20th-century world history; the population of selected countries; and a list of states achieving independence since 1945. This work is perfect for the high school, community college, and undergraduate library reference shelf, as well as supplementary reading in social studies and world history courses.

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Editorial Reviews

High school and undergraduate students will find these essays useful and readable. Descriptive essays summarize the short-term and long- term ramifications of both world wars, the Russian and Chinese revolutions, the rise of fascism, the Depression, the rise of the Third World, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and discuss key figures and the decisions they made that changed history. Includes annotated bibliographies for each event, b&w photos, a glossary, a timeline, and a list of states achieving independence since 1945. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313290756
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/24/1995
  • Series: Greenwood Press "Events That Changed the World" Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANK W. THACKERAY is coeditor of the "Greenwood Press Events That Changed the World Series," coeditor of Statesmen Who Changed the World: A Bio-Bibliographical Dictionary of Diplomacy (Greenwood Press, 1993), and author of Antecedents of Revolution: Alexander I and the Polish Congress Kingdom, 1815-1825 (1980).

JOHN E. FINDLING is coeditor of the "Greenwood Press Events That Changed the World Series." He is the author of Dictionary of American Diplomatic History (Greenwood Press, rev. ed., 1989), and Close Neighbors, Distant Friends: U.S.-Central American Relations (1987).

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Table of Contents

1 World War I, 1914-1918 1
Interpretive Essay 8
2 The Russian Revolution, 1917-1921 21
Interpretive Essay 27
3 The Rise of Fascism, 1919-1945 39
Interpretive Essay 45
4 The Great Depression, 1929-c. 1939 61
Interpretive Essay 67
5 World War II, 1939-1945 81
Interpretive Essay 88
6 The Cold War, c. 1946-1991 101
Interpretive Essay 107
7 The Chinese Revolution, 1911-1949 123
Interpretive Essay 128
8 The End of Colonialism and the Rise of the Third World, c. 1945-Present 143
Interpretive Essay 150
9 European Unification, c. 1947-Present 163
Interpretive Essay 169
10 The Collapse of the Soviet Union, 1985-1991 183
Interpretive Essay 189
Appendix A: Glossary 203
Appendix B: Timeline 209
Appendix C: Population of Selected Countries 217
Appendix D: States Achieving Independence since 1945 219
Index 223
About the Editors and Contributors 231
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