The bulk of the period this course surveys—namely, twentieth century-- was the most devastating in the history of humankind. The course examines the major developments that led to the wars and revolutions for which that century is famous. It stresses the supreme importance of the commanding actors on the political stage as the century unfolded--Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, Churchill and de Gaulle, Walesa and Thatcher and Gorbachev The course will seek to squeeze every ounce of drama out of the century's most famous -- and infamous -- events: Europe's last summer -- the incredible days of July 1914; the slaughter of World War I; the rise of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism ; Munich; the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939; the decimation of World War II; the bombing of London and Dresden; the destruction of the European Jewry; the German invasion of Russia; D-Day, the suicide of Hitler, the origins and development of the Cold War; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the revolutions of 1989; the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the collapse of Yugoslavia; and the first and second Gulf wars. But we will also pay full attention to developments in parts of the world outside Europe—including but not limited to, imperialism and decolonization in Africa and Latin America, wars in the Middle East, the rise of the Asian tigers, China and Japan, as well as the post-1990 international order and the approaches taken by American presidents to international affairs from Wilson to Obama. Midterm, final, short-paper.