Education About Asia: Online Archives

Asia in the Twentieth Century

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By William H. McNeill

Recent events offer an apt metaphor for Asia’s twentieth century. Between 1900 and 2000, a North Atlantic human tsunami crested and then withdrew, leaving behind radically changed social landscapes after ten decades of widespread disruption. Asia was not alone. The whole world went through the same experience- not least Europe and America, located at the epicenter of the entire upheaval. After-effects still persist, and intensified communication means that rapid readjustments to the North Atlantic human tsunami will continue for a long time to come.