American CenturyPosted: 2008/02/16
Evans, Harold. The American Century. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.
Weighing in at over 700 pages, American Century is nothing short of gorgeous. Bold black and white photos stand out on nearly every page, while satiric comics adorn the others. I have always loved the Brown Brothers photo of the construction workers on the Woolworth Building and was pleasantly surprised to see its inclusion on page xvii.
I liked learning that President Cleveland bought the “dirt” on an opponent and upon receiving the envelope burned it, unopened, on the spot. He also suffered from cancer of the mouth and had an entire artificial jaw.
“You feel small in the presence of dead men, and you don’t ask silly questions” (p 332).
Here’s the LibraryThing version of my review:
“Any history buff should have this sitting on his or her shelf (and have a shelf sturdy enough to support this 700+ book). Chock full of intriguing cartoons and mesmerizing photographs, American Century covers every aspect of U.S. history from 1889 to the mid 1990s. Well written with commentaries and first hand accounts, history comes alive. The people, the politics, the power, the pitiful downfalls. The 20th century is laid out and every historical moment of worth is described and detailed.”
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust and the chapter “American History: Fiction” (p 21). I have to explain that this isn’t fiction. Pearl referenced The American Century while talking about Ken Baker’s novels. Ken Baker helped Harold Evans with The American Century.