Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

Programs for Citizens

A History of the Twentieth Century: (Vol. 2: 1933-1951)

by Martin Gilbert

William Morrow & Company

932, January

Hardcover, 35.00

ISBN: 0688100651

The first volume of Martin Gilbert’s three-volume narrative history of the century spanned the years 1900 to 1933, closing with Roosevelt taking office as the newly elected president of the United States and Hitler being appointed chancellor of Germany. In this second volume, covering the period 1933 to 1951, Gilbert charts the dramatic and inexorable buildup to the Second World War–a war in which more than forty-six million people were killed, and which caused deep and lasting upheavals in the world’s social and political parameters. As the British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham said, “When the history of the first half of this century comes to be written–properly written–it will be acknowledged the most stupid and brutal in civilization.”

Nevertheless, the attempts to preserve humane values, to maintain the rule of law, and to uphold the rights and dignity of the individual are powerful themes in this volume–in which the conflicts of nations and aspirations of their rulers served both to endanger humankind through war and civil war and to create a more decent life for hundreds of millions of people. Gilbert takes the story to the end of 1951, with the United States and the Soviet Union–joint victors of the struggle against Germany and Japan–grappling to establish the primacy of their respective systems at a time when amid the continuing conflict in Korea, the specter of nuclear war threatened to become a terrible reality. In the shadow of this new threat, not only the great powers but also many small nations sought the path of security, self-preservation, and independence, or safety in new alliances.

Once again Martin Gilbert proves himself the undisputed master of narrative history, moving from continent to continent and country to country with ease, conveying the dramas and achievements of the century, and mustering a wealth of intricate historical detail into a rich mosaic. He tells the story of ordinary men and women on every continent, making their sufferings, aspirations, and achievements an integral part of events. His writing is epic in scope but always human in sympathy. As in his acclaimed first volume, influential art, literature, and music as well as natural and man-made disasters, all have their place. Gilbert 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. This is the definitive chronicle of our age.

Table of Contents
List of illustrations
List of maps
Part One
January to August 1939
Part Two
September to December 1939
Jaunary to May 1940
June to December 1940
January to June1941
June to December 1941
January to June 1944
June to December 1944
The final eight months of war, January to August 1945
Part Three
The return of peace, August to December 1945

Bookmark the permalink.

sort by: Author, Title, or Date