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The Century

The Century
Peter Jennings

November 10th, 1998







Literature & Fiction

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (85 votes)

Released: 1998-11-10

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The Century by Peter Jennings

Description

What was it like to watch the Wright Brothers soar into the sky? To hear the first crackling voice aired on the radio? To cower in the ghastly trenches of Europe during World War I? To lose everything in the stock-market crash of 1929, or experience the birth of rock and roll? To watch the Berlin Wall divide East and West, and then, twenty-eight years later, to see it fall under the weight of tens of thousands seeking to taste freedom? For the past seven years, researchers, reporters, and producers for ABC News have searched the world's archives for the rarest and most stunning photographs and images, consulted eminent twentieth-century historians, and discovered and interviewed hundreds of eyewitnesses and participants in the significant moments of the most eventful one hundred years in human history.

The result is this spectacular book, the independent companion volume to the landmark ABC News and The History Channel television series The Century.  Co-written by ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings and Senior Editorial Producer Todd Brewster, The Century features a narrative of extraordinary quality that tracks major themes–the impact of technology, the soaring of the imagination, the ghastly violence, the joy of entertainment–through chronological chapters recounting the signal moments of each era in the century.  From “Seeds of Change: 1901-1914″ to “Machine Dreams: 1990-1999,” each chapter is threaded through with fascinating first-person accounts of the great events of the twentieth  century, and illustrated with over five hundred color and black-and-white photographs (many never published before) reproduced in exquisite depth and clarity.

The Century presents history as it was lived, and as it will be remembered for the next hundred years.  Here is a keepsake volume destined to be an essential part of every family's library: an epic journey through the last hundred years, whose heroes are our grandparents, our parents, ourselves.


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Editorial Review

“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.

Book Details

Author: Peter Jennings Publisher: Doubleday Binding: Hardcover Language: English Pages: 608

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