From Library Journal
Dunnigan has done several "Dirty Little Secrets" titles (e.g., Dirty Little Secrets of World War II), and this latest is written in an easy-to-read style that will not bog down the casual reader. Covering 150 "misconceptions" about our century, he takes readers on a historical tour of the 20th century, exploring the vast realms of government and corporate secrets that have been kept from public view. The book is divided into seven chapters dealing with such topics as sex, politics, technology, and big business. Dunnigan shows the reader why he feels that technology has left an indelible mark on our everyday lives and how many of the corporations that influence our daily routines are in some respects more powerful than our local and national governments. While many of these secrets can now be obtained via the Freedom of Information Act or through online researching, Dunnigan implies that we may still be doomed to repeat our past mistakes. With the end of the century fast approaching, this book may prove to be a best seller. For public libraries.ALaRoi Lawton, Bronx Community Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
An overview of our late, great century that is consistently fun and informative. Dunnigan is the author of five military history books, other dirty little secret books, and a combination of the two (Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War, 1999, which he co- authored with Albert A. Nofi). The author offers a bird's-eye view of 20th-century changes in areas like population, the economy, health, technology, and lifestyles, and yet can be analytical and conspiratorially revealing on subjects such as marketing, the media, and politics. Rather than simply seeing Americans as a hard-working, well-educated and highly paid people who are unusually mobile, Dunnigan sees the will to move to the jobs as a key to American success. Yes, we've led revolutions in living standards with mass-produced inventions like the safety razor and tampon, but Dunnigan doesn't attribute our superior health and longevity records to antibiotics and hi-tech medical gizmos, but to improved sanitation. Typical of Dunnigan's humor and insights, he writes: ``let us never forget the true medical miracle of the twentieth centurythe sewer pipe.'' The writing is ironic or droll, but the author boldly takes on the high price of police, teachers' unions, and advertising. Dunnigan writes insightfully about Wal-Mart, General Motors, and Atari as well as his familiar subjects like warfare and politics. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.