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A History of the Twentieth Century: The Concise Edition of the Acclaimed World History

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  228 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Martin Gilbert, author of the multivolume biography of Winston Churchill and other brilliant works of history, chronicles world events year by year, from the dawn of aviation to the flourishing technology age, taking us through World War I to the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt as president of the United States and Hider as chancellor of Germany. He continues on to docu ...more
Paperback, 832 pages
Published December 17th 2002 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published November 5th 1997)
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Dec 04, 2011 Yazeed rated it it was ok
Shelves: 52-books-in-2011
Should be renamed "A One-Sided, Biased and Selective History of The Twentieth Century".

First of all I listened to the audiobook version of the book, which wasn't bad.

What was bad, was how the book was written. The author seemed to me like an amateur. Its okay with me if you present your own (naturally, biased) view of the world, we are all biased in our own ways, and to different degrees. My problem, is when you become selective of what you write, and what you don't. My problem is when you only
Jun 12, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
i went looking for a big, epic twentieth century survey and this delivered the goods. despite its scope and intimidating length, it's pretty engaging throughout. i listened to the audio version (30 plus hours!) which was great - kind of like tuning in to BBC radio, only hearing news about WWI or something.

this is totally one of those books that attempts to present history as something linear, conventional and "neutral." the linearity is actually its great strength (much as the embattled avant-ga
Bryana Johnson
Jun 12, 2012 Bryana Johnson rated it liked it
I started off thinking I was going to love this book, but found myself growing increasingly irritated by Gilbert’s obvious bias in favor of a central world governing system and disturbed at times by his naiveté regarding late 20th century foreign policy. While I didn’t come away feeling like I had both sides of all of the stories, I did appreciate the sheer volume of numbers the man was able to cram into the text in a reverent and respectful way that I felt portrayed well the appalling suffering ...more
John Paul
Dec 12, 2012 John Paul rated it liked it
It is like sitting in a fast moving car, staring out the window... driving past so many major events, catching brief glimpses of the glorious and mostly tragic, but never getting a closer look into the "hows" and "whys".
Aug 13, 2008 Hunter rated it really liked it
Covering the an entire century in 800 pages necessarily forces a certain selection and brevity. However, read this and you will get a flavor of the last century. It should dispel any romantic notions that it was "the best of times".
Marinho Lopes
May 17, 2016 Marinho Lopes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Como o título indica, neste livro Martin Gilbert dá-nos um resumo da História do século XX. Como seria inevitável num empreendimento desta magnitude, imensos detalhes importantes são deixados de fora. Como também se poderia esperar, Gilbert foca-se principalmente nas guerras e nas mortes, assim como nas personalidades que moldaram o mundo no século passado. Confesso que não gostei muito da abordagem, a começar pelo facto de que contar a História dividindo-a por anos me parece um critério limitad ...more
Rui Moniz
Oct 11, 2016 Rui Moniz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Depois da História da I e da II Guerras Mundiais, a História do Século XX é substancialmente mais leve. E, por conseguinte - até porque o tema não é apenas, mas também, a guerra - mais interessante.
Tem mais graça lermos sobre acontecimentos e pessoas dos quais e de quem nos recordamos realmente, com quem eventualmente até tivemos oportunidade de estar.
O livro é muito bom para percebemos muito do que se passa nos nossos dias, nomeadamente como aí se chegou, e como parece que a história se repete,
Jan 09, 2012 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, read-in-2012
I will admit that I did not read all of this with the attention that it probably deserved. There were a couple of section that I completely skipped: 1933-1945, really, as I do not have to teach that period and that's really why I was reading it! But I really like the style overall - it shows that it's a condensing of three volumes, but still it manages to give an idea of what's happening around the world in each year, and I particularly appreciated that it included events in India, countries in ...more
Jun 07, 2015 Sunil rated it liked it
Informative yes, comprehensive yes. A perfect reference book, but you can't afford to read a polarised book in an increasingly fragmented world. Going through the events, one realises how so much of twentieth century was bloody, including the minor events that are so forgotten now from collective consciousness, say the British acquisition of Tibet, Japanese naval victory over Russia 1904 etc.

Full marks for effort but the content is embarrassingly western centric. Do keep salt beside the table.
Jan 03, 2008 Frightful_elk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Frightful_elk by: Kevin
Shelves: history
This book presents a broad yet concise history from 1900-1933. The first of three books which aim to give scope to the entire twentieth century. It's an ambitious project and I'm sure much can be found in the way of criticism, but it provides invaluable insight and understanding into events of recent history. I found much in here to broaden and deepen my understanding of familiar events, and even more that was completely new to me. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in history, more espec ...more
Nov 06, 2012 Jan rated it liked it
Certainly a tour de force of knowledge, but also a litany of death verging on the monotonous. The bare recital of what happened and how folly continued to march throughout the century leaves the reader missing some analysis, some interpretation of causality etc. Then again it is itself fascinating to read a concise edition that is only 900 pages
Dec 26, 2010 Linny rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
not the concise edition, but Vol. 2 of 1,000 pages - I picked out only the European front to get a real sense of the strategy/tactics and place the geography correctly after reading 4 of Alllan Furst's novels.
Sep 02, 2010 Melinda rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I thought this book was very interesting. It took me a while to get through it, but it was helpful to go thorugh the histry of the world in chronological order.
Oct 06, 2016 Simon rated it really liked it
A VERY thorough history of the 20th century. So interesting but so hard to retain anything from all of the information. In this book you can see the patterns of history that continue today.
Jun 08, 2011 Liz marked it as to-read
Shelves: history, postponed
I had to return this to the library before I finished it (or really, before I even got started) - I will definitely be checking it out again.
Bonnie Bittman
Jul 14, 2009 Bonnie Bittman rated it it was ok
Not concise at all!
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The official biographer of Winston Churchill and a leading historian on the Twentieth Century, Sir Martin Gilbert was a scholar and an historian who, though his 88 books, has shown their is such a thing as “true history”

Born in London in 1936, Martin Gilbert was educated at Highgate School, and Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating with First Class Honours. He was a Research Scholar at St Anthony's
More about Martin Gilbert...

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