Sayings of the 20th Century is a portrait of the twentieth century through the quotable words of the people who lived it. Nigel Rees tells the stories behind more than 750 well-known phrases and sayings that have emerged in the course of a tremendousMoreSayings of the 20th Century is a portrait of the twentieth century through the quotable words of the people who lived it. Nigel Rees tells the stories behind more than 750 well-known phrases and sayings that have emerged in the course of a tremendous era.This is no ordinary dictionary of quotations, however.
The sayings have not been chosen to form a comprehensive collection (though most of the significant ones you would expect to find are included) but on the basis of whether there is anything especially interesting to be said about their origins and use.In other words, this is an annotated choice from among the century’s most memorable and significant sayings.In a strongly personal selection, Nigel Rees includes quotations from Kings and Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers, as well as frequently-quoted phrases that have arisen from two World Wars, space travel, exploration, sport and entertainment.
Special sections review the words of notably-quotable figures such as Churchill, Shaw, De Gaulle and Mao Tse-tung.In his introduction Nigel Rees notes how the twentieth century has witnessed the decline of the jewelled epigram in favour of informal media talk but, by way of compensation, he includes the full text of outstanding speeches in which people tried to say something memorably and well: Edward VIII’s abdication broadcast, President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, and so on.Sayings of the 20th Century is at once a valuable and original reference work and an often surprising examination of how we use — and misuse — the words of others.‘Not just who-said-what but a background to why and when it was said.
In the process a patchwork picture is brought together of trends and traumas in this century’s history thus far. “I hope”, says Nigel Rees, “it will fascinate anyone who has the slightest feeling for language and for the excitement and terrible scope of an amazing century”. It will, and it does.’Eastern Daily Press‘One of the major virtues of this book is that entries are selected precisely because they call for some explanation or involve some common misconception or misquotation’.Times Literary Supplement‘An informative, entertaining and highly readable anthology’Lore and Language