In 1989, Greenwood Press published The Chronology of Conflict and Resolution: 1945-1985. That work chronicled the various manifestations of violence that humanity tends to habitually impose upon itself and the efforts that have been made to resolve those issues. When that book was written, few of us would have regarded what has happened in the intervening years as being possible, even less as probable. Terrorist bombings such as that of the New York Trade Center, the invasion of Kuwait and, most of all, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the destruction of communist hegemony in Eastern Europe are all indicative of the continuing tableau of violence and resolution that has affected almost everyone on earth in one way or another. The only constant is the threat of violence in the weaving of the tapestry of history.
This work is devoted to an encyclopedic review of the period 1945-1996, including some background information on events leading to the post-1945 period. Much of the material covered in the Chronology is represented here in a different format, one in which the particular person, event or place is delineated as the point of focus rather than as a player at a particular point in time. This enables a much more detailed exposition of the background of the people, incidents and locales that have affected our lives over the last five decades-a time when we all should have been luxuriating in the glow of having defeated the enemy in one of the most horrendous conflicts ever fought, World War II.
Preparing a book of this type is not without its perils, however, not the least of which is the time involved in the research necessary to draw together the facts and to ascertain a coherent vernacular with which to present them. The realization that not everything known about a person, event or place could be included made for some hard choices. I must conclude, therefore, that not everyone will be satisfied with what is contained in this work, especially the people who have lived through these tribulations, large and small, who will be incensed because the name of a fallen patriot was overlooked, or because the outcome reported was not as remembered. I must thank Michael J. Varhola for his excellent work in preparing the index and for his help in finalizing the manuscript. Although I had his splendid assistance and some help from others in collecting data from the multitude of sources utilized, I am alone responsible for errors of fact or omission in this work.