Photojournalism

For those who balked at lifting Century: one hundred years of human progress, regression, suffering and hope off the bookshelves, Phaidon has published a mini edition of its popular pictorial history of the 20th century.

With such small pictures (few bigger than 4in x 3in), this is not the best version for photography enthusiasts or school libraries. Small pictures don't allow you to explore the detail in crowded historical scenes such as the opening of the Paris Exposition in 1900 or the funeral route for Nepal's murderous crown prince Dipendra in 2001. But at under a tenner it's an affordable feast of information.

The new version extends beyond 1999 - and beyond the life of the original editor, Bruce Bernard - to take in Nato's campaign in Kosovo, anti-globalisation protests, the dimpled chads that did for Al Gore, and the whisper in George Bush's ear that a hijacked plane had hit the World Trade Center.

September 11 is the cut-off date because it shattered the illusion that the fall of communism had left the world "safe and stable" - a fatuous idea in view of post-1989 evidence in Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan and much more. One picture (above) captures the post-1999 theme: a federal agent seizing six-year-old refugee Elian Gonzalez in Miami on April 22, 2000, to return him to Cuba . The terror on Elian's face as the agent grabs him and points a gun at him suggests a world gone mad, where we rush to solve problems by force with little thought for consequences.

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