The author offers an overview of the 1930s, a story of the dark, dishonset decade that determined the course of the 20th century. Dealing individually with each of the period's great powers - the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Japan and Russia - the reader is taken through ten years dominated by the Great Depression and political turmoil, ...Read MoreThe author offers an overview of the 1930s, a story of the dark, dishonset decade that determined the course of the 20th century. Dealing individually with each of the period's great powers - the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Japan and Russia - the reader is taken through ten years dominated by the Great Depression and political turmoil, when Broadway, Piccadilly Circus, the Kurfurstendamm and the Ginza - neon metaphors of hope and modernity after four years of carnage - grew dim as the giants of unemployment, hardship, strife and fear took their hold. From the concentration camps of Dachau and Kolyma, the Ukraine famine, the American Dust Bowl, to the Tokyo earthquake, the Empire State Building and the Paris Exposition, this book brings the 1930s back to life. The leaders are examined - Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Haile Selassie and countless others - in the context of their age and also through a chronicling of contemporary experience to give a sense of what it was to be living then. "The Dark Valley" investigates how, and how far, contemporary minds knew what they knew, and the extent to which our own view of the time is fogged by their uncertainty. It aims to illuminate a period when the world was struggling with one crisis and hurtling towards another.Read Less
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This would be a useful book for anyone trying to understand why WWII happened. Any chapter of it provides a stand-alone analysis of events local to one country, yet overall the book gives a feeling of the bubbling cauldron of trouble across Europe and the East, and the sad unease in the USA. Highly recommended.
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