From this major author comes a totally unique history of the twentieth century. Eschewing the traditional model for histories of this kind - blow-by-blow political narratives typically overloaded with detail - Jeremy Black offers us instead a brilliant thematic account of the last 100 years with the environment and the continuing strength of religious belief at its centre.
Looking back to the 1910s and 1920s, Black begins with "the greatest issue of all" - the natural environment and its destruction, and moves to show how our world been transformed by urbanisation and development. Amazing developments took place across the century: men walked on the moon, the internet revolutionised communications; advances in health and medicine; developments in manufacturing and technology; economic globalization - all have changed the way different parts of the world related to each other. How have these revolutionary changes impacted on religion and politics?
In the final sections of the book, Black looks at the persistence and growing extremism in religious belief, how change creates instability and wars, and how power blocs emerged and collapsed in response to all these developments. This is twentieth century world history on a truly global scale. The Twentieth Century World forces us to rethink the way we view the past, and offers us a new way to understand the present.
From the vantage point of the 21st century, this short history looks back to the age of extremes. Jeremy Black goes beyond the two world wars to focus on the great themes of the 20th century: the crisis of the earth's environment, religion, fundamentalism and politics.
Preface. Illustrations. Maps. Introduction: Whose World History? 1. Dominion over Every Living Thing: challenging the earth. 2. The Crowded World: resources and pressures. 3. Concrete and Steel: the human environment. 4. The Shifting Kaleidoscope: social change. 5. Economic Worlds. 6. Prometheus Unbound: machines and goods. 7. Human or Divine? ideas and beliefs. 8.World in Flames: politics and war 1900-1950. 9. Fall of Empires. politics and war 1950-2000. 10. Conclusions. Chronology. Further Reading. Index.
"A triumph....Jeremy Black has given us the most truly global and most nearly comprehensive history of the twentieth century. He does justice to vital but previously under-exploited themes: science, ecology, religion. He touches parts of the world other historians cannot reach" Felipe Fernandez-Armesto"Black's book works well as a wide-ranging survey of twentieth-century world history" History Vol. 88, Iss. 2, No. 290, Apr 2003
Jeremy Black is the editor of the Dorling Kindersley Atlas of World History and has over 30 single authored books to his name and more than 100 edited works. He has also been involved in several productions for radio and TV. His Modern British History (Macmillan 2000) has shown how a successful history of part of the modern world that does not focus on political history can be produced.