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Few people living in 1900 could have imagined what life would be like for children and families by the start of the 21st Century. The 20th Century brought improved nutrition, widespread immunization, lower mortality rates, greater access to schooling, more opportunities for communication and learning, and better legal protection for children. However, these achievements should be balanced by a recognition of the failure to protect and promote "the best interests of the child" and the family over this period. Wars, economic depression, exploitation, commodification, abuse, and discrimination - on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender, and class - all damaged children and families in the 20th Century. As with all the volumes in the Cultural History of Childhood and Family set, this volume presents an overview of the period and continues with essays on family relationships, community, economy, environment, education, life cycle, child and state, faith and religion, health and science, and world contexts.