Unique resource—nothing comparable with this much depth or numbers that covers so many 20th century events.
Great Events from History: The Twentieth Century, 1901-1940, is the sixth installment in Salem Press's ongoing Great Events from History series. When completed, the series will extend through the twentieth century and contain more than 5,000 essays covering the milestones of world history.
Scope & Coverage
The early twentieth century receives worldwide coverage with the priority of meeting the needs of history students at the high school and undergraduate levels. The events covered include the curriculum-oriented geopolitical events of the era--from World War I (1914-1918) and the Russian Revolution (1917) to the rise of the German Nazi Party, the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and the eruption of World War II in Europe (1939). Essays also address important social and cultural developments in daily life: major literary movements, significant developments in art and music, trends in immigration, and landmark social legislation. Among the many broad subjects that receive extensive coverage are Europe's changing political divisions and shifting alliances, the struggles of women around the world to gain the right to vote, the development of trade unionism and the labor movement, and the global impacts of the Great Depression.
The early twentieth century was also a time of immense advances in science and technology--discoveries and innovations that rival those of later years for the fundamental changes they brought to daily lives. At the beginning of the century, aviation was in its infancy and the automotive industry was just beginning. By 1940, passenger air travel was safe and increasingly affordable, and automobiles had become reliable and ubiquitous. The drudgery of housework was lightened with the invention of such appliances as the vacuum cleaner and the electric washing machine, and the development of radio broadcasting and talking motion pictures changed how many people spent their leisure time. Advances in medicine during this period were groundbreaking: In addition to the discovery of penicillin, scientists learned the causes of and developed vaccines, treatments, and tests for numerous diseases, including yellow fever, diphtheria, tuberculosis, syphilis, and diabetes. Discoveries in astronomy led to a greater understanding of the universe and Earth's place within it, and physicists such as Albert Einstein developed theories that pointed the way to the nuclear age.
Essay Length & Format
The essays have an average length of 2,000 words (2-4 pages) and adhere to a uniform format. The ready-reference top matter of every essay prominently displays the following information: the most precise date (or date range) of the event; the common name of the event; a summary paragraph that identifies the event and encapsulates its significance; where appropriate, any also-known-as name for the event; the locale, or where the event occurred, including both early twentieth century and, as relevant, modern place-names; the categories, or the type of event covered, from Arts to Government and Politics to Military History to Transportation; and Key Figures, a list of the major people involved in the event, with birth and death dates, brief descriptors, and dates or terms of office where applicable.
The text of each essay is divided into these sections: Summary of Event, devoted to a chronological description of the facts of the event; Significance, assessing the event's historical impact; Further Reading, an annotated list of sources for further study; and See also, cross-references to other essays within this Great Events set.
A section of historical maps appears in the front matter of each volume, displaying world regions in the early twentieth century to assist readers in placing the events' locales. Accompanying the individual essays are an additional 80 maps, quotations from primary source documents, lists, and time lines--as well as more than 500 illustrations: images of artworks, battles, buildings, people, and other icons of the period.
Because the set is ordered chronologically, a Keyword List of Contents appears in the front matter to each volume that lists all essays alphabetically, permuted by all keywords in the essays' titles, to assist readers in locating events by name.
In addition, several research aids appear as appendixes in Volume 6:
- The Bibliography cites major sources on the period.
- Electronic Resources provides URLs and descriptions of Web sites and other online resources devoted to period studies.
- The Chronological List of Entries organizes the contents chronologically in one place for ease of reference.
- Locale, or where the event occurred