Global change has accelerated at an unprecedented pace in the last half century. The trajectory of change points in different directions, with the world growing at once more interconnected and more fragmented. Commerce and migrations, television and the World Wide Web suggest a story of growing interconnection, while at the same time the proliferation of nation states and the divisions rooted in religion, race, and material inequality tell of separation and conflict. David Reynolds's brilliant history captures both themes and grounds them vividly in the people and events of the last fifty years. Reynolds captures the great political events: the Cold War, the Chinese revolution, independence movements, Vietnam, and the fall of the Soviet Union, and broader developments: economic and population growth, the spread of cities, vast technological change, genetic manipulation, and the creation of a digital world. Carefully avoiding an encyclopedic approach, Reynolds integrates these themes into a narrative with authority, vision, and style. A volume in the Global Century series, books by outstanding scholars on the history of the world in the twentieth century general editor, Paul Kennedy. 24 pages of illustrations.