Reviews - What do customers think about History of the 1990's (20th Century USA)?
A reminder of what happened in last century's last decade Jan 1, 2004
The cover of the final volume of the 20th Century USA series dealing with the "History of the 1990s" features Tiger Woods and Julia Roberts on the cover, which would seem to be a couple of good nominees for putting on the cover of the volume about the "History of the 2000s" that someone will be putting together about a hundred years from now (I think I would have gone with Michael Jordan and Bart Simpson, but that is just me). This book is going to be the real test of this series because some of the young readers might actually remember what happened in the last decade of the 20th century and will be able to judge whether or not Rennay Craats has done a good job of recalling the important people and significant events that everyone was talking about. Kids should actually recognize some of the headlines included in the introduction to the book, such as "Harry Potter," "Desert Storm," "Titanic," and "Wrestlemania" (but will they remember the "Million Man March" and the "Backstreet Boys"?).
The Time Line for the 1980s begins with Kevin Costner's "Dance With Wolves" and Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait in 1990 and ends with the Columbine shooting, the first hand transplant, Lauryn Hill's singing, the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France in 1999. All of those are covered in articles in this thin but informative volume, and many of those topics are of some importance in this decade/century as well. My standard argument is that these volumes make excellent supplements to your standard American history textbook, but I am not sure how up to date such books might be and whether they actually get to the end of the 20th century. Consequently, "History of the 1990s" could well end up being more of an addendum to a textbook to get the kids relatively up to date.
In fact, what might really interest young readers is the idea that generations from now actor Tom Hanks and "Silence of the Lambs," Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura and author John Grisham, Venus Williams and the New York Yankees, the O.J. Simpson trial and the Rodney King riots, *NYSYNC and the Three Tenors, would be what would define the decade of the 1990s for future generations. You can almost make the argument that you could teach the history of the United States in the 20th century backwards, not only so that students could search out the roots for things like terrorism and downsizing, but so they can better appreciate how Babe Ruth, "Gone With the Wind," and Bob Dylan were the Michael Jordan, "Titanic," and Bruce Springsteen of their day.