PDF The Twentieth Century
For some, the twentieth century is seen as a big-budget disaster film — the stifling darkness of oppression, the greed of the ruling classes. For the world's elite, the near-universal adoption of capitalism today reveals history as a narrative of unbroken progress.Avoiding conventional chronological accounts, The Twentieth Century is organized around the major themes of the last hundred years. To help us understand our recent past and probable future, Clive Ponting offers a "world systems" theory: A few core states have dominated much of the rest of the world, which provides raw materials and cheap labor, and remains tied to the core as virtual colonial territory. Between these extremes are Latin America, the Middle East, and eastern Asia, whose people have only a limited shot at self-determination as economic, social, and political differences between the core and periphery continue to grow.
The book's central theme revolves around the struggle between progress and barbarism; the hope for our future is that "our conscience will catch up with our reason". On the eve of the millennium this vivid history of the century is a must-read.
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