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Amazon.com&newline;&newline;History is not always served up best in a chronological, linear narrative. Some facts and dates flow smoothly that way, but certain truths and insights can be marginalized by the structure. For a deeper guide to the complexities of the 20th century, Richard W. Bulliet collected essays by prominent specialists in fields ranging from athletics and 20th-century medicine to nationalism, war, and scientific thought. There are 23 essays in all, exploring such topics as women, agriculture, and money, as well as demography, racism, and religion.&newline;&newline;The riches of this book can be mined in two ways. You can choose a subject, say popular culture, read Bulliet's essay, and learn that the music critics of 1994 and 1898 had much in common: both believed that the world was going to hell in a hand basket, with the low morals and vulgarity of popular music paving the way. Or you can head to the fantastically inclusive index and conduct a more pointed search. Look up &doublequote;St. Louis,&doublequote; for example, and discover that its 1940 census of 816,000 was down in 1990 to 397,000, then read more of Kenneth T. Jackson's essay to see what St. Louis has in common with the ancient city of Ur. Bulliet's compendium of historical essays renders a valuable service to historical scholars and lay philosophers, providing context and perspective for the creations and occurrences of the past 100 years. --Stephanie Gold &newline;--This text refers to the &newline;&newline;Hardcover&newline;edition. &newline;&newline;From Library Journal&newline;&newline;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 &doublequote;Ethnicity and Racism,&doublequote; to &doublequote;Nationalism,&doublequote; &doublequote;Communications,&doublequote; &doublequote;Industry and Business,&doublequote; 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&newline;Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.&newline;--This text refers to the &newline;&newline;Hardcover&newline;edition.