<% set date "2000 January 9" cr_basic_header "colin roald : journal : $date" cr_titlebar "journal" %>

<%=$date%> : A real millenial retrospective

For all the recent hullabaloo about the millenium, for all you could tell from the celebrations or the media coverage, it might have been any old turn-of-the-century. That is, any history that happened longer ago than living memory might as well not exist; certainly the news media didn't have either the guts or the understanding to offer a real millenial retrospective. I have found one and only one heroic exception: The Economist devoted an entire issue to The World This Millenium, and it is I think the best single issue of any magazine I have ever read.

Much of it is available on the web:


The page I cite gives a truly impressive one-page summary of 1000 years, starting with China issuing the first paper money in 1024, and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The issue includes articles on the obvious and mandatory topics, like Hitler, Stalin, the American revolution, and the Crusades, but also comments on a lot of less well-known dates. Among the better articles from the rest of the issue:

I love this stuff.

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