Books »Chronicle of the 20th Century

chronicle of the 20th centuryDespite weighing in at about ten pounds, Chronicle of the 20th Century has made the move with me to seven different apartments through three states. I adored this book as a teen and would often play a game where I'd make a list of movies based on random articles, then speculatively cast friends and celebrities I admired. I'm sure that in my youthful imagination Michelle Pfeiffer won accolades for her portrayal of Amelia Erhardt and, since she has dark hair, my friend Dana got the role of Frieda Kahlo.

Now this enjoyable encyclopedia lives on our reference shelf, full of exactly the kind of information that wins trivia games. It's fun just to leaf through and freshen up on all those pesky facts that will keep you from looking silly in more erudite conversations; I think this book taught me more about the 20th century's sequence of events than any of my high school history teachers.

The edition I have was published in the mid 90s, so obviously there are some major events missing in the run up to Y2K, but if you're okay editing Monica Lewinksy out of history, then this book makes a perfect for someone in their teens. DK, a company known for its enjoyable encyclopedic books, also published a tome called Millennium Year By Year: A Chronicle of World History from AD 1000 to the Present Day, which I plan to purchase soon.

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Posted on March 23, 2009

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