20th century

Thomas E. Ricks is an adviser on national security at the New America Foundation, where he participates in its "Future of War" project. He was previously a fellow at the Center for a New American Security and is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the prizewinning blog The Best Defense. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, he covered U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

His newest book, "Churchill and Orwell: The Fight For Freedom," is now available in paperback.

Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930's and if they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs and Orwell was a mildly successful novelist. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly against totalitarian threats.

During the 10 years that took America from glittering heights to the depths of economic devastation, New York State transformed the nation. The exhibition Roaring into the Future: New York 1925-35, on view through October 9 at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art, is a pioneering exploration celebrating the Empire State as the driving force behind the creation of 20th-century modernism.

From Buffalo to Brooklyn, artists, designers, and manufacturers generated avant-garde art, fashion, technology, and music that resulted in the century’s most important artistic revolution. MWPAI President Anna D'Ambrosio joins us. 

The Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, meant to herald the twentieth century, went tragically, spectacularly awry.

The Exposition opened with fanfare; its wonders, both strange and magnificent, dazzled the public. Then tragedy struck. In the early autumn of 1901, an assassin stalked the fairgrounds, waiting for President William McKinley. That was shocking enough, but there were more surprises in store.

In The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World's Fair, Margaret S. Creighton lifts the curtain on the assassination of McKinley as well as on the fair’s lesser-known battles, involving both notorious and forgotten figures.