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.