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Hammond Atlas of the 20th Century Hardcover – October, 1996
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Beyond being a copious collection of specialized maps (which help to explain everything from the collapse of empires to campaigns of the century's major wars to the current trouble spots of the world), this also serves as a valuable one-volume encyclopedia of our tumultuous century. The book is attractively designed, with many large double-spreads featuring articles, photographs and many, many maps. The Hammond Atlas of the 20th Century goes far in explaining our recent history and is a great addition to any library.
Attempting to document the tumultuous events of the twentieth century in a single volume, a group of British writers has produced an absorbing overview of what Hammond describes as "this century of paradox and progress."
With more than 250 detailed maps, 350 color illustrations (reproductions of paintings, photographs, and posters), and colorful graphs and tables packed with statistical data, this book also has a detailed chronology and a glossary cross-referenced to the relevant sections of text. The material is organized by themes that tend to focus on wars of the century but also include major political events, the development of various technologies, and other societal topics. This volume appears to continue the examination of this century contained in Power: A Political History of the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 1990), as the organization and many illustrations are similar. However, differences include the lack of a specific study of the Vietnam War, which here is mentioned mostly in reference to other topics, such as American politics in the 1960s, and sections on migration and refugees that do not reflect the disturbing trends that have taken place since 1980. The index contains instances where an item does not appear on the cited page: Sidney Webb and one reference to Nehru, for example. There is a comprehensive and up-to-date bibliography. Pages are sometimes arranged to illustrate more than one theme at the same time: the map of tourism in the Alps not only gives numbers of tourists but also reflects the environmental damage caused by acid rain. Even though the text of this atlas does not extend to the latter half of the 1990s, some tables are current as of 1996.
Hammond Atlas of the 20th Century should provide history buffs and students of other disciplines not only with engrossing reading but also with a basis for research about the vital events and issues of the twentieth century. Recommended for public, high-school, and college libraries.