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

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This companion volume to the twenty-six-part PBS documentary is a journal of our age. It tells a tale of ten tumultuous decades - not from the towering vantage point of princes and presidents but from the modest perspective of ordinary people who found themselves swept up in dramatic events of historic proportions. Thousands of personal recollections have been blended into a powerful narrative and enhanced by photographs, vivid illustrations, and detailed maps. People's Century is an illuminating and ...
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Overview

This companion volume to the twenty-six-part PBS documentary is a journal of our age. It tells a tale of ten tumultuous decades - not from the towering vantage point of princes and presidents but from the modest perspective of ordinary people who found themselves swept up in dramatic events of historic proportions. Thousands of personal recollections have been blended into a powerful narrative and enhanced by photographs, vivid illustrations, and detailed maps. People's Century is an illuminating and unforgettable saga of the great triumphs and tragedies of humankind in the twilight of a millennium.
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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: 9/15/1996
  • Pages: 636
  • Product dimensions: 9.51 (w) x 12.02 (h) x 1.89 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 6
Introduction 8
1 Age of Hope 11
2 Killing Fields 27
3 Red Flag 51
4 Lost Peace 75
5 On the Line 99
6 Sporting Fever 123
7 Breadline 147
8 Great Escape 171
9 Master Race 195
10 Total War 219
11 Brave New World 243
12 Boomtime 267
13 Freedom Now 291
14 Fallout 315
15 Asia Rising 339
16 Skin Deep 363
17 Endangered Planet 387
18 Picture Power 411
19 Living Longer 435
20 Great Leap 459
21 New Release 483
22 Half the People 507
23 War of the Flea 531
24 God Fights Back 555
25 People Power 579
26 Back to the Future 603
Acknowledgements 618
Index 622
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