Gr 5-8-These hi/lo books cover elements of American economic history in just a few pages-too few even for brief reports-in a style too dry to attract readers. Interstate Commerce discusses government regulation of trade during this period. Cefrey describes how the Sherman Act was written: "Senator Sherman made a bill. A bill is the idea for a law. The bill is given to Congress. Congress decides if a bill will become law." She presents the growth of commercial legislation, culminating in Theodore Roosevelt's "trust-busting," but makes mention of Microsoft's 2001 deal. Moriarty looks at big business from Colonial times to 1900, mentioning monopolies and the robber barons who controlled them, banking system consolidation, and the gold standard. All three books greatly oversimplify the events they describe, leaving out any specific incidents that would illustrate the developments. They include some period reproductions, but not all of them are relevant to the texts. A few sidebars appear, but the simplified language results in unclear explanations. However, the publisher's Web site does provide links to some interesting sites (all at much higher reading levels than the book). The story of American economic development is much better told in Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier's The Rise of Industry: 1860-1900 (Benchmark, 1999) and Joy Hakim's An Age of Extremes: 1870-1917 (Oxford, 1999). Both use language so effectively that readers will enjoy the dramatic rush of the story. Reluctant readers and ESL students will have to wait for more effective treatments of the topic.-Jonathan Betz-Zall, City University Library, Everett, WA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.