We Were There: An Eyewitness History Of The Long Twentieth Century

 Sue Wingrove looks at personal accounts from the 20th century

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Reviewed by: Sue Wingrovve
Author: Robert Fox
Publisher: Profile
Price (RRP): £9.99

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Robert fox’s excellent four-volume, compendium Eyewitness to History covered first person accounts from Herodotus to the destruction of the World Trade Center. This paperback is a condensed edition of its 20th-century reportage and is rather more affordable than that £120 set. 

Its accounts range from Orville Wright writing in his diary about the first powered flight in 1903 to Ernest (Winnie-the-Pooh) Shepard describing the battle of the Somme during the First World War and Rosa Parks on how she made history by sitting on a bus in 1955. Other accounts cover nuclear testing; catching polio; the trial of Lady Chatterley; AIDS; the Spanish Civil War; Tiananmen Square and Nelson Mandela.

Each account is introduced with its historical context and the whole adds up to a vivid history of the human experience of the 20th century.

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Sue Wingrove is deputy editor of BBC History Magazine