Crucible: : The Year that Forged Our World
Jonathan Fenby

Crucible: :  The Year that Forged Our World

The Times Book of the Year
BBC History Magazine Book of the Year
Daily Telegraph Book of the Year


One year shaped the world we know today. This is the page-turning story of the pivotal changes which were forged in the space of thirteen months of 1947-48 

Two years after the end of the second conflict to engulf the world in twenty years, and the defeat of the Axis forces of Germany, Italy and Japan, this momentous time saw the unrolling of the Cold War between Joseph Stalin's Soviet Russia and the Western powers under the untried leadership of Harry Truman as America came to play a global role for the first time.

The British Empire began its demise with the birth of the Indian and Pakistan republics with the flight of millions and wholesale slaughter as Vietnam, Indonesia and other colonies around the globe vied for freedom. 1948 also marked the creation of the state of Israel, the refugee flight of Palestinians and the first Arab-Israeli war as well as the victories of Communist armies that led to their final triumph in China, the coming of apartheid to South Africa, the division of Korea, major technological change and the rolling out of the welfare state against a backdrop of events that ensured the global order would never be the same again.
This dynamic narrative spans the planet with overlapping epic episodes featuring such historic figures as Truman and Marshall, Stalin and Molotov, Attlee and Bevin, De Gaulle and Adenauer, Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek, Nehru and Jinnah, Ben Gurion and the Arab leaders. Between them, they forged the path to our modern world.

Book Details:

  • Author: Jonathan Fenby
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Simon & Schuster
Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby has published twenty books, mainly on modern global history, China and France. In a journalistic career spanning four decades, he was Editor of The Observer, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong (during the handover from Britain to China) and Reuters World Service. He also held senior editorial posts at The Economist, The Independent and The Guardian and has been a foreign correspondent in Vietnam, Germany and France where he spent twelve years working for Reuters, The Economist and The Times. After returning to the UK from Hong Kong in 2000, he was a founding partner of...
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Book Reviews

  • "Read this book for the light it shines on a turbulent time; cherish it for the lessons it provides,, A beguiling symphony performed in discordant rhythm."
    The Times
  • "A truly global account of a crucial time rarely examined by historians…a combination of stylish prose and immense command of historical detail."
    Rana Mitter, BBC History.
  • "An assured gallop across the terrain of contemporary history in this fateful year….Swings from one region to the next in a fast-moving account ."
    Financial Times