The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s

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Jonathan Cape, 2000 - Europe - 701 pages
23 Reviews
Piers Bendon's magisterial overview of the 1930s is the story of the dark, dishonest decade, child of one world war and parent of the next, that determined the course of the twentieth century. Dealing individually with each of the period's great powers - the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Japan and Russia - Brendon takes us through the ten years dominated by the Great Depression and political turmoil, when Broadway, Piccadilly Circus, the Kurfurstendam and the Ginza - neon metaphors of hope and modernity after four years of carnage -g rew 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, THE DARK VALLEY examines the great leaders - Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Haile Selassie and countless others - not with hindsight but in the context of their age; but also, through a meticulous chronicling of contemporary experience, he gives us a sense of what it was to be living then. We see the clothes people wore, the food they ate, the sufferings they endured.

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Great insight to what made people think and act they way they did in between wars. Makes you feel as if you had lived through their time

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User Review  - Rally Soong - Goodreads

One of the best I've read. I love the witty tone and the character sketches the author was able to draw of all the big names of the time. The Nazi leadership comes off as nutty as they really were ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Piers Brendon, the author of 11 previous books, is Keeper of the Churchill Archives and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He lives in England.

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