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Need Ideas: 20th Century World History

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My rising 10th grader would like to study 20th Century World History next year. History is his favorite subject. So far, other than buying the Visual History of the 20th Century, and playing with the idea of using TRISMS Age of Revolutions II (I like the concept, but $195 when I really only want the history portion, not the science or literature parts just seems steep), I haven't come up with much.


Any ideas?




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These are some of the resources I used for 20th century with my older son. He chose one topic per week to write on; did one book report per week; added important figures to a timeline; and we discussed many of the works.


An Age of Extremes (4 weeks):


History of US, book 8 (~46 pages, weekly)

Usborne Atlas of the 20th Century, pgs. 4-9

America’s Century, pgs. 8-91

Kingfisher, pgs. 355; 343; 350-51; 358-63; 370-73; 376-77; 388-91

Time-Life 20th Century America, pgs. 8-23

Historical Atlas of the 20th Century 6.01 and 6.06




Bold Leaders of WWI, Red Reed, Jr.

WWI Biographies, Tom Pendergast

The Many Faces of WWI, Irving Werstein

The Red Baron, Nicolas Wright

Causes and Consequences of WWI, Stewart Ross

Hellfighters: African American Soldiers in WWI, Michael Cooper

In Flanders Fields, John McCrae

The Yanks are Coming, Albert Marrin

Exploring the Titanic, Robert Ballard

All Quiet on the Western Front (audio and video, too)

Little Lord Fauntleroy

A Little Princess (audio and video, too)



Years Between WWI and II (2 weeks):


Usborne Atlas: Russian Revolution, pgs. 10-11; 12

Historical Atlas, 6.15, making of the Soviet Union

Usborne, pg. 12: Peace After WWI

Historical Atlas, 6.07, Europe Between Wars

History of US, book 9, ch. 1-6 (~15 pgs. per week)

Usborne: Middle East, pg. 13

Historical Atlas, 6.24, Middle East and Africa

Kingfisher, pgs 394-95; 396-97; 400-01




Leaders of the Russian Revolution, Fred Newman

Lenin: founder of the Soviet Union, Abraham Resnick

Russia in Revolution, Horizon Magazine

Russian Revolution, John Dunn

Russian Revolution, Adrian Gilbert

The Disaster of the Hindenburg, Shelley Tanaka



The Great Depression (2 weeks):


Usborne, pgs. 14-15: The Depression

Time-Life, pgs. 24-31

America’s Century, pgs. 92-125

History of US, vol. 9, chs. 7-24 (~70 pgs.)

Kingfisher, pgs. 404-05




Children of the Dustbowl, Jerry Stanley

The Dust Bowl, Cobblestone

After the Crash: American in the Great Depression

Black Tuesday: The Stock Market Crash of 1929, Barbara Feinberg

Brother, Can you Spare a Dime? Milton Meltzer

We had Everything but Money, Wis Greendale



Communism/Fascism (2 weeks):


Usborne: China and Japan, pgs. 16-17

Historical Atlas, 6.17, China: Chaos to Communism 6.18, Japan and the Asian Empires

Usborne: Rise of Fascism, pgs. 18-19

History of US, vol. 9, ch. 25 (Hitler and Nazis)

Usborne: Stalin’s Soviet Union, pgs. 20-21

Historical Atlas, 6.15 (review)

Time-Life, pgs. 32-39

America’s Century, pgs. 126-69

Kingfisher, pgs. 402-03; 398-99; 408-11




Eurocommunism, Stephen Goode

Leon Trotsky, Hedda Garza

Fascism: The Meaning of Reactionary Revolution, James Forman

The Nazis, William Cace

The Rise of Nazi Germany, Don Nardo

The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler, William Shirer

The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, James Giblin

Joseph Stalin, Dorothy Hoobler

Stalin, Albert Marrin

Hitler, Marrin

The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom



World War II (3 weeks):


Usborne, pgs. 20-27

Historical Atlas, 6.02, World

6.08, WWII Europe ‘39-’42

6.09, WWII Europe ‘42-’45

6.19, WWII Asia ‘41-’45

History of US, vol. 9, chs. 26-end

Time-Life, pgs. 440-51

America’s Century, pgs. 170-227

Kingfisher, pgs. 406-07; 412-18




Bismarck! Frank Sloan

The Last Nine Days of Bismarck, C. S. Forester

Battle of the Atlantic, G. C. Skipper

Hiroshima, R. Conrad Stein

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Jane Claypool

Hiroshima No Pika, Toshi Maruki

Victory in the Pacific, Albert Marrin

In Kindling Flame: The Story of Hannah Senesh, Linda Atkinson

The Luftwaffe in WWII, Richard Blanco

The Airman’s War: WWII in the Sky, Albert Marrin

The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition, Anne Frank

The Triple Nickles: America’s First all Black Paratroop Unit, Bradley Biggs

The Day Pearl Harbor was Bombed: A Photo History of WWII, George Sullivan

Exploring the Bismarck, Robert D. Ballard

Number the Stars (audio, too)



Europe Divides/Birth of Israel (2 weeks):


Historical Atlas, 6.12, The Americas

Usborne: Europe Divides, pgs. 28-29

Historical Atlas, 6.10

Usborne: Birth of Israel, pgs. 30-31

Historical Atlas, 6.25, Arab-Israeli Conflict

Kingfisher, pgs. 419-20; 422-24




Causes and Consequences of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Stewart Ross

Israel, Denise Allard

The New Eastern Europe, Michael Kronen Wetter



The Americas (1 week):


Usborne, pgs. 36-37, Latin America

Historical Atlas, 6.13, The Americas

6.14, Central Americal and the Caribbean

History of US, vol. 10, ch. 31

Kingfisher, pgs. 446-47




Latin American Tales, Genevieve Barlow

Neighbors at Odds: US Policy in Latin America, Elaine Pascoe

To Kill a Mockingbird (audio, video and discussion kit available)



Vietnam Era (3 weeks):


Time-Life, pgs. 62-73

America’s Century, pgs. 266-309

History of US, vol. 10, chs. 8-30 and 32-35 (~100 pgs.)

Historical Atlas, 6.21, Indo-China Wars

Kingfisher, pgs. 444-45




Escape from Saigon…, Andrea Warren

An Album of the Vietnam War, Don Lawson

America in Vietnam: The Elephant and the Tiger, Albert Marrin

In Vietnam, Dennis Hauptly



Asia (2 weeks):


History of US, vol. 10, ch. 1-7 (~36 pgs.)

Time-Life, pgs. 52-61

America’s Century, pgs. 228-265

Usborne: Independence for Asia, 32-33

Historical Atlas, 6.03, World

6.20, East Asia

6.22, Central and S. Asia

Kingfisher, pgs. 421; 425; 440-41




The Korean War, Richard Edwards

The Korean War, Carter Smith

The Korean War, Maurice Isserman

The Korean War, Kathlyn Gay

Soldier at Heartbreak Ridge, Carl Green

The Forgotten War, R. Conrad Stein

The War in Korea, E. B. Fincher



Africa (1 week):


Usborne: A New Africa, pgs. 34-35

Historical Atlas, 6.27, De-colonization and nationalization

6.28, S. Africa

Kingfisher, pgs. 449-51; 462-63




This our Dark Country: The American Settlers of Liberia, John Russwurm, Janice Borzendowski, Catherine Reef, Paul Cuffe, Arthur Diamond



1970’s (2 weeks):


Usborne: Cold War, pgs. 38-39

History of US, vol. 10, chs. 36-37

Usborne, pgs. 40-45

Time-Life, pgs. 74-87

America’s Century, pgs. 310-45

Historical Atlas, 6.04, World

6.16, Decline of Soviet Union

6.23, Rise of Pacific Rim

6.26, Middle East

Kingfisher, pgs. 436-37; 452-53




Peoples and Nations of the Far East and Pacific…, Sheila Fairfield

The Cold War, Cobblestone

The Cold War, Derek Heater

The Cold War, David Taylor

The Cold War, Sean Sheehan

The Cold War…, James Warren

The United States in the Cold War, Christopher Collier



1980’s (1 week):


Time-Life, pgs. 88-97

America’s Century, pgs. 346-85

Usborne: Communism Falls, pgs. 46-47

Historical Atlas, 6.11, Europe After Cold War

History of US, vol. 10, chs. 38-40





The Berlin Wall, R. G. Grant

The Berlin Wall: How it Rose and Why it Fell, Doris Ealer



1990’s (1 week):


Time-Life, pgs. 98-109

America’s Century, pgs. 386-429

History of US, vol. 10, chs. 41 to end

Historical Atlas, 6.05, World

Usborne, pgs. 48-53

Kingfisher, pgs. 438-39; 442-43; 448; 450-51; 454-57; 458-61





Irrepressible Spirit: Conversations with Human Rights Activists, Susan Kuklin

Human Rights, William Jacobs



New Millenium (2 weeks):


America’s Century, pgs. 430-39

Time-Life, pgs. 110-19

Usborne: Century Ends, pgs. 54-55

Kingfisher, pg. 464




Books on Presidents


Complete year with readings on current events from newspapers and magazines.

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How funny that Cafelattee posted the same question!


Thanks, everyone, for the ideas.


Regina, what a great list!


Dirty Ethel - I'm a big fan of the Teaching Company, so I can't believe I missed that one.


Well, you've got me off to a good start. Thanks!



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