The Columbia History of the 20th Century :

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 98%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (32) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $4.75   
  • Used (27) from $1.99   


In the parade of highlights with which many have tried to sum up the twentieth century, the overarching patterns and fundamental transformations often fail to come into focus. The Columbia History of the 20th Century, however, is much more than a chronicle of the previous century's front-page news. Instead, the book is a series of twenty-three linked interpretive essays on the most significant developments in modern times—ranging from athletics to art, the economy to the environment.

Rather than presenting a linear narrative, each author uncovers patterns of worldwide change. James Mayall, for example, writes on nationalism from the rise of European fascism to the rise of Asian and African nations; Sheila Fitzpatrick traces the history of communism and socialism in Moscow and Havana. In her chapter on women and gender, Rosalind Rosenberg covers the progress of women's rights throughout the world, from Middle Eastern activism to the American feminist movement. Jean-Marc Ran Oppenheim's history of sports traces the spread of Western sports to all corners of the globe and the West's appropriation of such activities as martial arts. In each, the important strands of history—events, ideas, leading figures, issues—come together to offer an illuminating look at cultural connection, diffusion, and conflict, showing in stark relief how this period has been unlike any preceding era of human history.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
This volume attempts to go beyond the frantic list-making that has characterized many end-of -the-century books and delves into the ways twentieth century has changed human life.
Library Journal
As the next millennium approaches, it is not surprising to see editors compiling panoramas of the century that's closing. There can be no question that human civilization quickened at a remarkable pace in a number of areas over the last 100 years. This book's 23 chapters cover, in no particular order, many of the key areas that have fundamentally altered human existence forever. Most of editor Bulliet's (history, Columbia Univ.) contributors are academics qualified to write on the chapter topic selected, ranging broadly from "Ethnicity and Racism," to "Nationalism," "Communications," "Industry and Business," and others. The idea is for readers to peruse those chapters that appeal to them. Articles average under 25 pages, so content is quite broad. While the level of scholarship varies a bit, overall quality is good. This book was designed for the generalist who needs an overview. One could cavil over the topics selected or the fact that so many of them relate largely to Western nations, but the list holds up well. This should appeal to public library users and undergraduates in academic libraries.--Stephen W. Green, Auraria Lib., Denver
Contains 23 interpretive essays by specialists in various aspects of cultural history, politics, economics, and technology. They address a diverse array of topics, including athletics, religion, ethnicity, nationalism, agriculture, ecology, medicine, communications, war, cities, and demography<-->and focus on the 20th-century developments that have been so remarkable or revolutionary as to distinguish this century from any other. Rather than presenting a linear narrative, each author attempts to reveal underlying patterns of worldwide change; and the essays can be read in any order. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231076289
  • Publisher: Perseus (for Columbia University Press)
  • Publication date: 5/27/1998
  • Pages: 668
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard W. Bulliet is professor of history at Columbia University. A former Guggenheim fellow, he is the author of Islam: The View from the Edge and The Camel and the Wheel. He is also the author of four novels of mystery and intrigue.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

ContributorsIntroduction, Richard W. Bulliet1. High Culture, Richard W. Bulliet2. Popular Culture, Richard W. Bulliet3. The "Woman Question", Rosalind Rosenberg4. Religion, Zachary Karabell5. Athletics: Play and Politics, Jean-Marc Ran Oppenheim6. Ethnicity and Racism, J. Paul Martin7. Imperialism and Decolonization, Ainslee Embree8. Nationalism, James Mayall9. Socialism and Communism, Sheila Fitzpatrick10. The International Order, Akira Iriye11. War: Institution Without Portfolio, Robert L. O'Connell12. Industry and Business, William N. Parker13. Money and Economic Change, William C. McNeil14. Technology and Invention, Christopher Freeman15. Agriculture: Crops, Livestock, and Farmers, B. F. Stanton16. Communications, Jahan Salehi and Richard W. Bulliet17. Transportation, John C. Spychalski18. Scientific Thought, Eric Holtzman19. Paths to Discovery, Neil Degrasse Tyson20. Twentieth-Century Medicine, David Rosner21. Ecology and the Environment, Mary Corliss Pearl22. Cities, Kenneth T. Jackson23. Demography and Population Movements, Georges Sabagh24. Epilogue: The Twenty-first Century, Richard W. BullietIndex

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)