Term Paper Resource Guide to Twentieth-Century United States History

By Robert Muccigrosso; Ron Blazek et al. | Go to book overview

Historian’s Preface

Research in the field of twentieth-century American history has become an increasingly complex enterprise. On the most basic level, researchers must consider the full sweep of historical events and developments that by now encompass nearly an entire century. They must also confront an enormous and rapidly accelerating amount of material that is available in traditional forms, as well as in sophisticated resources that stem from the century’s more recent dramatic technological breakthroughs. The prospect is a formidable one. The purpose of this book is to assist researchers in both the selection of appropriate research topics and in locating useful bibliographical sources.

The selection of one hundred important historical events and developments invariably invites invidious comparisons and charges of arbitrary choice. Why some entries were chosen and not others is a fair question. In choosing topics, I have first and foremost sought to include those that undeniably are central to the nation’s twentieth-century experience: wars; major political, economic, and social events; cultural transformations. A second criterion in the selection process has been the desire to include topics that seemingly would interest as well as inform contemporary students, while omitting, sometimes with strong reluctance, important topics that would generate only limited curiosity, such as creation of the federal reserve system. Every generation has its own particular historical concerns, and this book has tried to take today’s into as much account as seems appropriate.

The events listed in the book appear in temporal sequence, but a

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