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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 10 up.
Between the end of World War II and the toppling of the Berlin Wall, the world was held hostage by the clash of conflicting ideologies that has come to be called the Cold War. In those decades communist nations held on to the belief that their political perspectives would eventually supersede those of the primarily western nations that functioned in republican/democratic systems. Conversely, the western democracies feared a monolithic effort on the part of their communist foes. This confrontation, so ably depicted in this selection from the "Timelines" series, led to localized warfare, continuous espionage, delimitations of civil liberties, and near nuclear disaster. In The Cold War Reg Grant traces the history of this confrontational era in a way that youngsters will both understand and appreciate. Of particular interest are the patterns of behavior that Grant traces not only in the communist nations but in the democracies as well. While the Soviets chose to crack down on liberties in nations such as Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the United States endured the McCarthy era. When the Americans lost credibility after waging war in Vietnam, the Soviets failed to heed that lesson and plunged into a disastrous war in Afghanistan. In revealing the facts and underlying components of key events in the Cold War, Reg Grant goes a long way to providing his audience with ample food for thought. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck