A major encyclopedic work, ''Chronicle of the 20th Century,'' which has already appeared to acclaim in five West European countries, will be published in an American version tomorrow by Chronicle Publications of Mount Kisco, N.Y., a branch of Jacques Legrand International Publishing of Paris, which holds the world English rights.
''Chronicle of the 20th Century'' has no single author or style; brevity rules the pages. The group of American editors and writers contributing to the book, under the guidance of Clifton Daniel, the editor in chief, includes experts in a dozen fields -from the sciences to sports, from the art of war to the arts of the stage. Among them are John W. Kirshon, Tom Anderson, Edward Edelson, John W. Finney, Marjorie Hunter, Drew Middleton and James Tuite. Mr. Daniel is a former managing editor, Washington bureau chief and foreign correspondent for The New York Times. Differences in Editions
The book will be followed by 128-page annual editions to update the information in the basic book. Jacques Legrand said that ''Chronicle of the 20th Century'' is priced at $49.95 and has a first printing of 250,000 copies.
"The twentieth century has seen everything from the invention of the nuclear bomb to the brief reign of the hula hoop. DK Multimedia's Chronicle of the 20th Century provides a comprehensive look at the people and events that have shaped the past 97 years and lets you come up with your own take on our times.