Defining Documents in World History: The 20th Century (1900-1950) Review

CHOICE Editors’ Top 75 Community College Resources – April 2019

“This set presents 72 documents important to understanding the 20th century. The scope is broad and comprehensive, and documents are arranged in the following seven sections: Africa and the African Diaspora (5 documents); Asian Affairs (11 documents); Euroamerican and World Affairs (21 documents); Latin American Affairs (13 documents); The Middle East (8 documents); Women in the World (5 documents); and Technology, Medicine, and the Environment (9 documents). Among the documents are the Boxer Protocol, a report on the Armenian Genocide, the Munich Agreement, the Zimmerman Telegram, the Balfour Declaration, an essay from Emma Goldman (“Marriage and Love”), and a letter from an army physician during the 1918 flu pandemic. Documents include letters, speeches, legislation, treaties, government documents, essays, political tracts, and even a book chapter. As with the other titles in this series, the presentation of each document makes it accessible to the reader. A summary overview, a description of the defining moment, and an author biography precede the document (which is presented in whole or excerpted). This is followed by an analysis of the document that highlights its main themes. A bibliography and suggestions for further reading wrap up each document analysis. Generous black-and-white photographs and maps enhance the material. Taken altogether the set provides a broad overview of major developments worldwide during the 20th century. This is a solid reference to consult at the beginning of a research project and would be a valuable supplement to material presented in a survey course.”
-ARBA, 2019

“This two-volume set, the seventh in the series ‘Defining Documents in World History,’ presents 72 documents, including speeches, letters, multinational treaties, and declarations. Many are lesser known yet significant documents of the first half the twentieth century. Each contributor accompanies the primary source document’s text with an overview, a biography of the original author, and analysis of its significance in history. The editor divides the resource into five geographic categories, organized roughly by region: African and African Diaspora, Asian Affairs, Euro-American and World Affairs, Latin American Affairs, and The Middle East. Following these are two topical chapters: ‘Women in the World’ and ‘Technology, Medicine, and the Environment.’ Contributors present some of the facsimiles of these primary source documents. Some of the black-and-white illustrations and maps lack the visual quality of their color originals. Several authors add a glossary of selected words or phrases no longer in common usage. Major WWI and WWII documents are treated in other volumes; treaties and pacts enacted between the world wars are in these volumes. Summing Up: ⋆⋆ Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.”