You are here: / Contributing Writers / PureHistory: Book Club / Chronicle of the 20th Century

Chronicle of the 20th Century

8479229-245x300

A Short History of the 20th Century

By: Jondave, The history of the 20th century in 10 minutes 45 seconds 32 videos and 150 pictures. Music: The Beatles: While My Guitar Gently Weeps and The Verve: Bittersweet Symphony.

8479229Chronicle of the 20th century by Clifton Daniel (Editor in Chief)

There’s never been anything like it. Imagine being able to sweep your eyes over the incredible riches and excitement of our century as reported in the important” News of the Day” experiencing the major events and savoring the human interest side-lights that made each and every day unique. Starting with January 1900.

An encyclopedic work, “Chronicle of the 20th Century,“ which has appeared to acclaim in five West European countries, is being issued in an American version by Chronicle Publications of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., a branch of Jacques Legrand International Publishing of Paris, which holds the world English rights.

The 1,357-page tome, with thousands of illustrations-photographs, maps, charts and calendars-uses a news-story format, with headlines, to summarize and place in perspective the major events of the first 86 years of this century. The book has 3,500 entries culled from the editors` data bank of 200,000 newsworthy items.

20thcentury“Chronicle of the 20th Century“ has no single author or style; brevity rules the pages. The American editors and writers, guided by editor-in-chief Clifton Daniel, includes experts in a dozen fields, from the sciences to sports, from the art of war to the arts of the stage.

Among them are John W. Kirshon, Tom Anderson, Edward Edelson, John W. Finney, Marjorie Hunter, Drew Middleton and James Tuite. Daniel is a former managing editor, Washington bureau chief and foreign correspondent for the New York Times.

Each edition of the international book has been assembled by writers and editors representing the viewpoints of their own countries. In the American edition, the Treaty of Portsmouth, ending the war between Russia and Japan on Sept. 5, 1905, gives greater attention to President Theodore Roosevelt for his key role in arranging the peace than do the European editions.

4th1Daniel wrote nearly all the headlines in the book, a skill he developed after his newspaper days, and a few of the stories.

“When something came along where I had some knowledge, I pitched in,“ he said.

“I wrote the Hall-Mills murder case because none of the editors had ever heard of it and about the storied Lizzie Borden case. I also was the only one who seemed to know the details about the Earl of Roseberry, who achieved the three things he wanted in life: to win the English Derby, marry England`s richest heiress and become prime minister.“

The book will be updated by 128-page annual editions. “Chronicle of the 20th Century“ is priced at $49.95 and has a first printing of 250,000 copies, Jacques Legrand said.

seaside_centuryIn an introduction, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. mentions the life-affirming passions in the arts and the dangers that the century`s scientific and technological virtuosity have bequeathed to humanity, then wonders: “Do we have the intelligence and resolution to find means of saving the human race from extermination? The answer to this question, in the 4,000 or so days of the century that remain to us, will yield the ultimate meaning of the 20th Century.“

Daniel said it was nearly impossible to winnow the headlines to 10 that would highlight the 20th Century because the book has an international reach. But he gave it a try, including the dates:

– Man`s First Flight in a Heavier-Than-Air Machine (Dec. 17, 1903).

– The Great Powers Go to War in Europe (Aug. 1, 1914).

– The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (Nov. 7, 1917).

– Lindbergh Flies the Atlantic Alone (May 21, 1927).

– Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany (Jan. 30, 1933).

– Roosevelt Is Inaugurated as President (March 4, 1933).

– Scientists Split the Atom, Releasing Incredible Power (Jan. 28, 1939).

– The Nightmare Again-War in Europe (Sept. 1, 1939).

– Surprise Japanese Bombing of Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941).

– Men Land on Moon (July 20, 1969).

20thcportal_sigimageThe book concludes with a Dec. 21, 1986, entry, a prediction that the world`s population will reach 6.2 billion by the year 2000. Daniel was asked to look into his editorial crystal ball and guess what would or should happen for the remainder of the 20th Century.

“That question reminds me of a story,“ Daniel replied.

“Winston Churchill once asked his science adviser, Lord Charwell, to calculate how much champagne he had drunk in his lifetime. `About a third of a boxcarful,` Charwell reported. Churchill sighed and responded, `So little time, and so much to do.` “

Pictures of American Cities in the Early 20th Century (1)Daniel said, “So little time. . . .“ But he did express the hope that future headlines might herald cures for cancer and AIDS and that the end of the century would see a world without war. He added that he was reaching for the Moon, or Mars, in his wish list.

“I would even settle for Franklin Roosevelt`s Four Freedoms: `freedom of speech and of religion, freedom from want and from fear.`

“Or,“ Daniel added philosophically, “the words of the Declaration of Independence: `Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.` Written by Herbert Mitgang, New York Times News Service, New York, October 8, 1987.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1987-10-08/features/8703150886_1_20th-century-editors-page

PureHistory
PureHistory.org ℗ is your source to learn about the broad and beautiful spectrum of our shared History.