From Queen Victoria, the Manchu dynasty, and Romanov czars to the death of Princess Diana, the return of Hong Kong to China, and the peace treaty between Russia and Chechnya; from the launching of the first zeppelin, DNA "fingerprinting," NASA spaceships on Jupiter and Neptune, and the ascendancy of the Internet, the 20th century has been a dynamic and momentous time.
Edited by Michael Howard (from the University of Oxford) and William Roger Louis (of the University of Texas at Austin), with essays contributed by a fine collection of history scholars, the Oxford History of the Twentieth Century describes the economic, cultural, and political scene into which the 20th century was born, then proceeds with essays on topics such as "The Growth of a World Economy," by Robert Skidelsky; "The Growth of a Global Culture," by Alan Ryan; "The European Colonial Empires," by William Roger Louis; and "Europe in the Age of the Two World Wars," by Michael Howard. Alongside these are interesting essays on the Soviet Union, the emergence of Japan, and the cold war, as well as perceptive chapters on China, Africa, and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and International Law. The chronology appendix, informative and concise, covers politics and international relations, science, technology, medicine, and culture, from 1900 to 1997, and is a useful reference tool, while the main text of the book describes, discusses, and analyzes the century's major events, shifts of power, trends, evolutions, and transformations. Insightful, lucid, and engaging, it skillfully fills the 20th-century-reference-shelf niche. --Stephanie Gold [via]