As with any comparable study of such encompassing events, choices had to be made. First of all, the mechanics of the number of pages that can be profitably bound into a volume or volumes constrained how much detail could be put into the individual entries. A second point was which of the items in the Chronology were sufficiently important to warrant entries in this work. Cities and towns included in the Chronology were generally referenced to the country in this work, even where they are not specifically mentioned in the country article. A few exceptions were made. In almost all cases, place names were referenced to the inclusive article that, in general terms, describes what occurred at that place. In some cases, such a cross-reference pointing to a country will lead only to that country's overall place in history, not to the specific location
Similarly, the names of individuals were divided into those who had a direct relationship to the events, those who were players in the course of the events and those whose role was tertiary to the events. Members of this last category were generally dropped and do not appear in this work, except as mentioned in the article on the event. Cross-referencing has been accomplished by the use of “quod vide” (qv) as appropriate and through the use of “See…)” references, which direct the reader to other articles. If the specific locale is the site of an important event, such as a battle or a terrorist incident, it probably has been included. Group names such as types of aircraft, naval craft, missiles and other weapons, troop unit designations or satellite systems have also been relegated to oblivion, except where an individual weapons platform or piece of equipment performed a specific act in a specific role in an event. In general, locales, especially countries, and a number of people who became major players are examined from their origins to allow the reader the sense of the process that brought them into the present.
Where alternate spellings of names and places were readily available, they are shown, after the Westernized versions used as the primary spelling. Also, as the Anglicization of many foreign words fails to follow a single pattern or design, alternate spellings are also shown.
Last, a conscious decision was made early on to absorb the space that should have been given over to entries about the United States and the now-defunct Soviet Union. The last 50 years have been to an almost total entent a manifestation of the superpower confrontation that began in 1945 and is only now, years after the Bolshevik demise, beginning to show signs of abatement. Therefore, no entries appear for these two giants, yet one cannot turn a page in this book without reference to one or the other.