Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book Review: 'The Great Book of 1990s Trivia: Crazy Random Facts & 90s Trivia (Trivia Bill's Nostalgic Trivia Books 2)' by Bill O'Neill

The Great Book of 1990s Trivia by Bill O'Neill

“The U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq in 1991 as Operation Desert Storm began.”

Author Bill O’Neill has authored many books on Trivia and stands as somewhat of an expert in this field! His topics include movies, football, baseball, wars, rock music and simply random trivia facts. This volume is THE GREAT BOOK OF 1990s TRIVIA: CRAZY RANDOM FACTS & 90s TRIVIA. To set the mood of the book Bill states, ‘Issues of civil rights, war, reform, political scandal, environmentalism, and technology, which structured the 20th Century, provided a frame for the 1990s. The last decade of the century began with the dismantling of the Soviet Union, the devolution of communism, and the end of a long arduous Cold War between powerful nations. Many thought that the events that closed the 1980s and started the 1990s would bring international peace, but political ideology moved from a cold war to hot ethnic and religious battles that were far bloodier. Without two superpowers, the United States and the U.S.S.R., to hold together the world through applied force, numerous ethnic groups fought diligently with their neighbors and internally for their independence, and some attempted the even harder task of securing lands they had once claimed. A multitude of the states of the former Soviet Union engaged in many of these disputes, but no place was as troubled and divided as Yugoslavia, which was riddled with issues involving culture, ethnicity, and religion. As situations around the world boiled, a new world economy formed that had no borders and those who played the international card over nationalistic ideas saw prosperity, especially as the threat of nuclear war dissipated. However, the United States played isolationist when it came to many of the conflicts, as the politicians in power were reluctant to involve themselves with world affairs unless it involved trade. After the wall fell in Berlin, the U.S. was more inclined to focus on domestic affairs rather than issues abroad. Sometimes domestic affairs forced the issue, as when political scandal at the White House had consumed the U.S. under President Bill Clinton, which culminated in a presidential impeachment, or when the economy reached new heights in growth and unemployment declined. The civil rights movement continued its evolution as women and minorities gained so much ground that the U.S. Supreme Court and many institutions questioned the wisdom of affirmative action policies. Gay and lesbian rights also moved to the forefront of the equal rights movement as the result of a decision by the Clinton White House to open up the military to homosexuals through a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that missed the mark. In the end, a series of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, as well as school shootings and acts of terrorism, which spared no region, led to a galvanized nation and new initiatives to thwart violence, gain environmental control, and prepare for emergencies of any kind.’

The book is divided into each year of the 90s with the associated major events that occurred each year of that strange decade. Reading this book (and answering the test questions associated with each chapter) provides some fine reminiscing but also reminds us of the traumas we faced and survived.

Not only is the book entertaining – it is also very instructive for every reader. Have fun, learn, and be ready for the next gathering of very smart friends! You’ll be on top.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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