A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume II by Martin Gilbert

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Volume two of Martin Gilbert's three-volume narrative history of the century charts the years 1933 to 1960. It begins as Roosevelt embarks on the New Deal and ends as Kennedy is elected to the presidency. The opening chapters cover the turmoil that proceeded World War II: the Depression, the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese aggression in China, and the relentless spread of Nazi power. WorldWar II dominates the middle section of the volume--as it dominated the lives of those who lived through the period. And in the postwar chapters, Gilbert examines the imposition of the Iron Curtain and the growth of the Cold War, the Berlin Blockade, and eventually dwarfing so much else, the nuclear confrontation. Nationalism remains a feature of this volume as it was of the last -- with the emergence of the "third world" as the European empires collapse, first in Asia and then in Africa.

As in the first volume, influential art, literature, and music, as well as epidemics and natural disasters, all have their place. Many of the events described are seen through the eyes and words of those who were present. The author has combed an incredibly wide array of sources to bring to the reader a vivid picture of the life, death, patterns, and flavors of the middle part of the century.


About Martin Gilbert

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Published January 20, 1999 by William Morrow. 932 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume II

Kirkus Reviews

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If the first volume of Gilbert's History of the Twentieth Century (1997) seemed tired, the second, covering the years up to and following the Second World War, reveal again his high quality as a narrative historian.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of A History of the Twentieth Ce...

Publishers Weekly

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Gilbert, the official biographer of Churchill and one of the most prolific historians alive, aspires to be the Livy of our age. His history of the century is, literally, a chronicle--the chapters are

Feb 01 1999 | Read Full Review of A History of the Twentieth Ce...

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