19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good introduction for anyone!, 12 Feb 2002
I remember that history was one of my least interested and weakest subjects when I was in junior secondary school. It's not until recently that I started to realize I should know more about what's going on in the world. And I bought this book.
This 450-page book consists of 27 chapters, grouped in 5 parts, namely The Framework of the Century, The Eurocentric World 1900-1945, The Cold War 1945-1900, The Wider World, and finally Envoi.
Part 1 is an overall review of the century from different points of views, science, technology, economy, politics, culture and art. This gives you a very brief yet concise idea of what the century is like, what happened, and what were eventually the consequences.
Part 2, a very exciting part, tells about the politic and military situations in the two world wars.
Part 3 is on the post-war period after the second World War. This tells you about the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and its influences.
Part 4 is dedicated to the development of areas other than Europe and the U.S. If you are interested in the history of a specific area other than those dominant countries in the century, or if you would like to look wider than just those countries, this part surely gives you what you want.
And finally Part 5 concludes the 20th century and looks forward to the 21st century.
This book did a very good job in trying to gather different opinions. The 27 chapters were actually written by 26 leading professionals, including Nobel prize winner Steven Weinberg. As each chapter is dedicated to one particular interest, you can easily jump to where you are interested - if that's what you prefer.
In conclusion, this book is a very good choice for anyone, even idiots and dummies, who want to widen their world view and know more about the 20th century, a remarkable century in human history that makes today's world the way it is.