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A History of the Twentieth Century Audiobook

A History of the Twentieth Century

Martin Gilbert, author of the multivolume biography of Winston Churchill and other brilliant works of history, chronicles world events year by year, from the dawn of aviation to the flourishing technology age, taking us through World War I to the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt as president of the United States and Hider as chancellor of Germany.
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Publisher's Summary

Martin Gilbert, author of the multivolume biography of Winston Churchill and other brilliant works of history, chronicles world events year by year, from the dawn of aviation to the flourishing technology age, taking us through World War I to the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt as president of the United States and Hider as chancellor of Germany. He continues on to document wars in South Africa, China, Ethiopia, Spain, Korea, Vietnam, and Bosnia, as well as apartheid, the arms race, the moon landing, and the beginnings of the computer age, while interspersing the influence of art, literature, music, and religion throughout this vivid work. A rich, textured look at war, celebration, suffering, life, death, and renewal in the century gone by, this volume is nothing less than extraordinary.

©2001 Martin Gilbert (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (41 )
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4.0 (37 )
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Story
4.0 (37 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Patricia Knyazhichi, Ukraine 11-11-11
    Patricia Knyazhichi, Ukraine 11-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "I didn't know that."

    I have always been a history buff, but this has opened my eye to a lot of 'hidden' history. I have not managed to listen to the whole book yet, but I currently live in Ukraine and have surprised some of my Ukrainian friends by knowing more of their history than they do. Also taking the history year by year puts things into proportion.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos 04-11-16
    Carlos 04-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Clear and concise description of history."

    Provided a clear and concise description of history in methodical manner. Of course their were aspects of historical significance left out, but covered the bulk of the most significant and not so mentioned (car fatalities) aspects that shaped our modern time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane 11-29-15
    Shane 11-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Super Straightforward"
    Would you listen to A History of the Twentieth Century again? Why?

    Absolutely. The book is pretty dense so there is room for a few listens here.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This was one of the most unique audio books I've ever listened to. There is absolutely no analysis. Instead it is a complete narration of events as they occurred. While this can be a bit strange at times it really does give a unique feeling of how the century progressed. It was kind of like watching a news reel.


    What about John Curless’s performance did you like?

    His unwavering, almost monotone voice was perfect for the style of this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Berg 09-20-15
    Emily Berg 09-20-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "We get it. The roads are dangerous."

    The book was interesting, there's no denying that. However, I thought it was quite odd what the author chose to include and exclude. The part about the Korean War was excellent and is often excluded in books of this nature but statistics for road deaths are included at least 10 times, despite having no relevance to the story. Idi Amin, Amelia Earhart, FDR's health, and just about anything happening in South America or Africa weren't included at all or were given less than two minutes. I loved the format of the story but wish it wasn't so Eurocentric and so focused on wars as opposed to important cultural moments, which got almost no attention past the 1920s. Additionally, I had hoped the author would spend more time on stories that weren't so well known so I could have listened for 30 hours and come away feeing like I learned something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Sonoma, Ca, United States 10-08-14
    Jeff Sonoma, Ca, United States 10-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Focus on the Facts with Minimal Commentary"
    What made the experience of listening to A History of the Twentieth Century the most enjoyable?

    Getting a breakdown of events across the globe decade by decade gives the listener a unique perspective on major happenings (mostly catastrophes) of the century. After finishing this work, one can see how difficult it is for modern historians to sort through the sheer volume of information to find some thread of reason behind it all.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A History of the Twentieth Century?

    As I lover of world history, I was surprised to find so many critical details I had previously missed. For example, other works originally led me to think that WWI was sort of everyone's fault. 'However, after listening to a blow by blow progression of events the Kaiself himself seems to deserve most of the blame. . In addition, I had no idea that so much upheval occurred in the Soviet Union during the interwar period.


    What aspect of John Curless’s performance would you have changed?

    He kind of grows on you after a few hours, but I initially felt that he wasn't enunciating properly. He does well with pronunciation and really deserves at least 3.5 stars.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, its fairly engaging but you really should limit yourself to one decade a day. Otherwise its easy to lose focus and end up Leopold's Congo thinking that the author is still discussing Republican China.


    Any additional comments?

    I think this work should have been shortened to only focus on its strong points_ politics, international relations and war. The terse references to developments in science, art and popular culture also seemed somewhat out of place,One other thing I could have done without was the author's bizarre obsession with automobile-related fatalities for which he provides almost yearly statistics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Chicago, IL, United States 07-14-12
    Joseph Chicago, IL, United States 07-14-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "select history given as a grocery list"
    What would have made A History of the Twentieth Century better?

    So this is very Eurocentric and war focused. It doesn't discuss much more than the politics leading up to/and war. Art, culture, science, technology can be combined into maybe 10 min. There is virtually no mention of central and south america nor africa (besides British imperial struggles). It also bothers me that the actor pronounces spanish words as if he is speaking Italian.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    grocery list reading (dry as hell) and he thinks spanish is pronounced like Italian


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    YES> hearing the larger picture of the Eurocentric story was nice, but it seems to be from a selective perspective.


    Any additional comments?

    You may need a separate History of the 20th century to help balance the information

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • MR
    CARMARTHEN, United Kingdom
    1/11/13
    Overall
    "Factual and grim"

    Don't expect any light relief. This book is a chronological account of atrocities and disasters. There is very little commentary or analysis. It does, however, contain an immense amount of information and certainly identified and filled in the blanks I had. I do recommend it, but be aware of what you're letting yourself in for - it's not for the faint-hearted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    London, United Kingdom
    12/15/11
    Overall
    "An extended timeline"

    The author decides to give us a year by year account of 20th century history.  This means that you end up with a set of very brief sketches of events.  There is no depth and little analysis.  Often there are interesting facts to be heard, but if you have a decent knowledge of 20th century history then this is little more than a revision course.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    fleet, United Kingdom
    11/3/11
    Overall
    "A century of massacre and slaughter"

    Martin Gilbert's view of the 20th Century is the most dismal I have read or heard. Was it really like this?
    This century was dominated by religious fanatics, meglomaniac dictators, tribal conflicts and human misery. Nothing good has come of it. Listen to this book and then kill yourself. Or go out and do something about it.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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