Great Lives from History: The 20th Century
In-depth critical essays on important women and men in all areas of achievement from around the world. Plus complimentary online access to the full content of this great reference.
Great Lives from History: The 20th Century, 1901-2000 is the culminating set in Salem's Great Lives series. It is also a key element in the launch of Salem History, the new online database available free to purchasers of the print edition.
Scope & Coverage
This set's scope is broad, both geographically and in terms of areas of achievement. The personages covered are identified with one or more of the following regions: Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, South America, and Southeast Asia.
The set provides coverage in areas of achievement as well as geography, and includes those persons recognized for shaping history, coverage that is essential in any liberal arts curriculum. Major world leaders appear here, as well as the giants of religious faith who were central to the century: philosophers, educators, artists, scientists, and activists who left their imprint on political as well as spiritual institutions. The set also includes figures who have received little attention in the past, particularly women and people of color in all areas of achievement.
Organization & Format
Each essay ranges from 1,500 to 3,000 words in length (roughly 3 to 5 pages) and displays standard ready-reference top matter offering easy access to biographical information:
- The individual's nationality or ethnicity and occupation or historical role, including reign dates for rulers.
- A summary paragraph highlighting the individual's historical importance indicating why the person is studied today.
- The "Born" and "Died" lines list the most complete dates of birth and death available, followed by the most precise locations available.
- "Also known as" lists all known versions of the individual's name.
- "Area(s) of achievement" lists all categories of contribution, from
- Architecture and Art through Social Reform and Theater.
The body of each essay is divided into three parts:
Early Life provides facts about the individual's upbringing and the environment in which he or she was reared.
Life's Work is a straightforward, generally chronological, account of the period during which the individual's most significant achievements were accomplished.
Significance is an overview of the individual's place in history.
Further Reading is an annotated bibliography.
See also lists cross-references to essays in the set covering related personages.
Related articles lists essays of interest in Salem's companion publication, Great Events from History: The 20th Century.
Several features distinguish this series as a whole from other biographical reference works. The front matter includes the following aids:
- Complete List of Contents
- Key to Pronunciation
- List of Maps and Sidebars
The back matter to Volume 10 includes several appendixes and indexes:
Rulers and Heads of State, a geographically arranged set of tables listing major world rulers and leaders, from ancient times through the 20th century, including their dates or terms of office.
Chronological List of Entries: individuals covered, arranged by birth year.
Category Index: entries by area of achievement, from Architecture to Women's Rights.
Geographical Index: entries by country or region, from Africa to Asia, Europe to the Americas.
Personages Index: an index of all persons, both those covered in the essays and those discussed within the text.
Subject Index: a comprehensive index including personages, concepts, books, artworks, terms, battles, civilizations and other topics of discussion, with full cross-references from alternative spellings and to the Category and Geographical Indexes.