THE AMERICAN CENTURY by Harold Evans

THE AMERICAN CENTURY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Evans (Good Times, Bad Times, 1984, etc.), former president of the Random House Trade Group and present editorial director of the New York Daily News, US News and World Report, and the Atlantic Monthly, offers a brisk narrative history of America in the 20th century, giving equal weight to “the personalities and events of America’s second century.” The animating idea of the book, announced in its first pages, is that “America was more than merely the latest phase of a long succession of experiments in man’s social history. It worked because the effort was inspired by the inner light of freedom. Democracy delivered.” And while Evans can be tersely critical of American foreign policy (especially of policies pursued in the second half of the century), he generally holds closely to his central thesis, offering a text that touches on all of the major social and political events of the century (from the Spanish-American War up to the presidency of George Bush) while stressing, in each one, its impact on the evolving American identity. The 900 black-and-white photographs, deftly integrated into the text, offer a strong complement to the narrative. A handsome overview of America in recent times. (First printing of 75,000; Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection; History Book Club main selection; author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1998
ISBN: 0-679-41070-8
Page count: 704pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1998




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