People's Century: The Ordinary Men and Women Who Made the Twentieth Century, 1900-1999

People's Century: The Ordinary Men and Women Who Made the Twentieth Century, 1900-1999

by Godfrey Hodgson
     
 

A lot of books commemorating the end of the century have come out this year. For my money, People's Century is the best of the bunch. The companion book to the epic 26-part PBS series of the same name is itself a masterpiece. With more than 600 images over the 650-plus pages, it is both a visual and textual history of the way people lived throughout the centurySee more details below

Overview

A lot of books commemorating the end of the century have come out this year. For my money, People's Century is the best of the bunch. The companion book to the epic 26-part PBS series of the same name is itself a masterpiece. With more than 600 images over the 650-plus pages, it is both a visual and textual history of the way people lived throughout the century, around the world. With thousands of personal reflections by people affected by this century's "great" events, People's Century is a personal and grand portrait of the 20th century.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Going further than previous books purporting to be a "people's history" of a nation or time period, this is a true history of the achievements and catastrophes of the 20th century recounted from the perspectives of hundreds of typical people from numerous countries. A companion volume to the 26-part documentary that began this spring on PBS, the book parallels the series in its 26 chapters. These chronicle events (e.g., the Depression, the collapse of communism) and trace themes (e.g., the place of cinema, racism, environmentalism) with relatively sparse text but with hundreds of photographs, illustrations, and maps. The author, a journalist and academic at Oxford, necessarily made choices to emphasize some things he thought important (e.g., the impact of guerrilla warfare) and downplay others (e.g., technology and computers), but to cover an entire century in a single volume requires difficult editorial decisions. A feast for the eyes if not for the intellect, this book is a worthwhile acquisition for most public libraries.Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA
School Library Journal
YA-This companion to the PBS television series gives a broad, chronological overview of 20th-century history. Chapters present both the historical context of the topic with its relevancy to the world. However, the publication is British so some American-focused events are omitted or receive little coverage. For example, the Cuban revolution is discussed, but there is no mention of the Cuban Missile Crisis, or Watergate, and only minimal information on the Gulf War. The readable text features interesting sidebars and short quotes from individuals who lived through the described events, although their personal backgrounds are not always given. Creative chapter titles draw the attention of browsers, e.g., "The War of the Flea" covers many of the guerrilla wars. Frequently, the years covered by the chapters overlap thus enabling cultural or medical topics to be discussed thoroughly since the political topics are covered elsewhere. Students will appreciate the thousands of related, fully captioned black-and-white and full-color photos that are closely matched to the text.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812928433
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/15/1996
Pages:
636
Product dimensions:
9.51(w) x 12.02(h) x 1.89(d)

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