The Eighties

The Eighties

by Adrian Gilbert

Editorial Reviews

This review was written and published to compare and contrast three books about the 1980s by Stuart Kallen, Stephen Feinstein, and Adrian Gilbert. These three titles cover the major events and people of the 1980s. Each discusses advances in science and technology, famous stars in music and movies, events that made headlines, and politicians. They differ in depth and format. Kallen's entry in the series A Cultural History of the United States through the Decades discusses each subject in more detail than do the others. Chapters cover individual topics giving background information, events, and causes. In "Final Curtain on Communism," the author mentions the changing leadership of the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan's attitude toward communism, Mikael Gorbachev's openness to new ideas, Solidarity in Poland, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sidebars offer short explanations of events that affected each subject, such as the Star Wars defense plan and its influence on the changes in the communist world. Black-and-white photographs throughout help to give a clear picture of the period. Feinstein's work from the Decades of the 20th Century series serves more as an introduction to the eighties. Many full-page, black-and-white photographs face short descriptions of life in the eighties as remembered by the average person—shopping, movies, sports, television, politics, and major events such as the Chernobyl disaster and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The time line lists several events for each year, although without specific dates. The list of further reading contains Internet addresses as well as books. Part of the Look at Life series, Gilbert's more colorful introduction to life in the eightiesbreaks up text with pictures, boxed profiles of famous people, quotes, and "Newsflash" items, reminiscent of the Eyewitness books. More coverage is given to events, trends, and people in art, leisure, and entertainment. The format and color photographs will appeal to students, and the resource list suggests films, music, and works of art that students might consult for a clearer picture of the era. Of these three series, A Cultural History of the United States is more complete and focuses on historical and political aspects of each decade, making the books more useful for assignments. Both the more visually appealing A Look at Life and Decades of the 20th Century would serve as fine supplements with their focus on trends, events, and people, providing entertaining browsing material on each decade. Glossary. Index. Photos. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P M J S (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 48p. PLB $25.69. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Deborah L. Dubois

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

Product Details

Raintree Publishers
Publication date:
Look at Life in Series
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
1150L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

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