Economic depression triggers unemployment on a global scale. In 1929, the New York Stock Exchange crashes. As banks fail and industry withers, the Great Depression shatters economies and communities around the world.
Following World War I, old prejudices refuse to die and nationalist passions begin to rise. Fascism and militarism spread. By the late 1930s, the world faces a choice of avoiding war at all costs or taking up arms to resist aggression.
The U.S. Marshall Plan provides not only food but also modern machinery and investment capital to help rebuild Europe after World War II-and to encourage resistance to Communism. In prosperous postwar America, consumerism and confidence escalate until the price of oil quadruples in 1973.
The generation born at the end of World War II, indulged by parents who had lived through two world wars and a depression, were the first teenagers in history to have money to spend and lots of leisure time. Increasingly, they rejected their parents' authority and values and, realizing the strength of their numbers, tried to change the world through demonstrations, drugs, and civil causes.
Traces the rise of atomic power from the first atomic explosion in 1945 to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan at the close of World War II and the ensuing Cold War race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to possess ever more powerful nuclear weapons. Nuclear power is touted as a safe, clean energy source until Three Mile Island and Chernobyl lead people to think otherwise.
The discovery of mercury poisoning in Japan's Minamata Bay leads to a critical look at industrial corporations, runoff, and waste management and helps spark the environmental movement. Picking up momentum with the first pictures of Earth from the Apollo missions, people around the world demonstrate against DDT, oil spills, whaling, deforestation, toxic waste, nuclear power, and pollution.