- Hardcover: 624 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (November 10, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385483279
- ISBN-13: 978-0385483278
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.5 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 104 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Century Hardcover – November 10, 1998
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"We have sought," write Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster, "to distinguish our story from other histories by holding each chapter up to a litmus test: Have we looked at this time from the perspective of someone who lived through it? And in doing so, have we captured a sense not only of the events of a particular era, but of the mood, the prevailing attitudes?" Thus, the experiences of ordinary men and women come to life in sidebars that appear throughout The Century. Sharpe James, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, recalls the sense of excitement and possibility he felt when Jackie Robinson became the first black ballplayer in the major leagues. Gilles Ryan remembers what it was like to be a high-school student in Dayton, Tennessee, during the Scopes Trial. Connie Chang talks about emigrating to the United States from Korea and establishing a liquor store in Los Angeles, only to have it destroyed in the civil unrest.
Comparisons to Harold Evans's The American Century are, perhaps, inevitable, but in addition to the emphasis on ordinary lives, The Century is further distinguished by the effective use of color photography (as well as several black-and-white shots). The book's sweeping narrative, shaped by Jennings and Brewster's comprehensive text, also flows a bit more smoothly than Evans's telegraphic prose; one can almost imagine Jennings reciting from these pages as he hosts the ABC/History Channel documentaries to which this book is a companion piece.
From Publishers Weekly
A companion volume to an upcoming 12-hour TV series on ABC News and 15-hour series on the History Channel, this is one of two major histories of the current century to appear this fall. The other is Harold Evans's The American Century, reviewed below. The Evans is the superior of the two, though both volumes have their strengths and weaknesses and either will make a splendid addition to anyone's bookshelf. Jennings is, of course, the news anchor at ABC, while Brewster is the senior editorial producer of the TV series allied with this book. Like the medium they're most involved with, the authors engageAvigorouslyAthe emotions more than the intellect, while offering little that most educated Americans won't already be familiar with, although their recitation of events and analysis of trends is solid, and they give more coverage to important recent events, such as the rise of the Internet, than does Evans, whose history ends more or less in 1989. Their writing is smooth throughout and the many eyewitness accounts to various events gives the book a personal immediacy that the Evans too often lacks. In essence, their book is a chronicle of glories achieved and disasters overcome. The treatment is episodic rather than thematic, and the chapter dealing with the decade since the fall of the Berlin Wall offers only a kaleidoscopic montage of events with no connecting thread. The array of photographsA125 full color, 425 b&wAis spectacular, however, and for many will be the primary reason to buy the book, as well as the Jennings name and the boost from the TV series, which could easily propel the volume onto bestseller lists. Major ad/promo; BOMC main selection; simultaneous BDD Audio.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
Despite those nitpicks, this book is excellent and well worth the money in every way... Well,okay one final 'nit.' The damn thing is printed on lead! It weighs a freaking TON!
This is an incredible book and well worth the money you'll pay for it. I should get another one before you can't get them anymore... just so I have a spare.
Also, in a few years you may have a wonderful souvenir of a "real" book because most books will be only published for digital display!