Children's LiteratureBetween 1950 and 1970 the Cold War heated up across the globe. Beginning with the fall of the Nationalist Chinese government to the forces of Mao Tse Tung and culminating with American involvement in warfare in Southeast Asia, this part of the Cold War was focused in Asia. In volume two of the author's "Cold War" series, readers are introduced to the brushfire conflicts that plagued the world during the post-World War Two era. Using a crisp writing style frequently laced with quotations and profiles of participants in the events, the author does a wonderful job of detailing this part of American history. The wars in Korea and Vietnam are placed in their historical context and described in appropriate detail. In both instances, American leaders sought a military means of combating the spread of communism. Unfortunately, the results of those armed confrontations between communist and western forces were less than clear and included great human cost. In volume two of this excellent series the author defines a twenty-year period within which great violence and social change took place. This is a fine historical work and one that will find a satisfied audience. 2001, Raintree Steck-Vaughn, $35.68. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7 Up-Collapse describes the changing relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union from the 1960s through 1991 as the superpowers struggled with rivalries in an arms race and conflicts waged by surrogates in Africa and Latin America. It also discusses d tente, arms control, and the collapse of the Soviet empire. Hot Conflicts focuses on the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War. Each volume includes highlighted sections on people, places, culture, and sources (quotes from documents, speeches, or personal reminiscences) that provide detailed information without interfering with the flow of the narrative. The cogent biographies of leaders, for example, give good background sketches as well as elaborations on positions that were taken. Additional information about battle sites or countries is given under "Places." In addition, the narratives are divided into short sections, and this, too, gives Burgan additional flexibility in presenting a very complicated history. Both books are exceptionally well written. Useful maps and black-and-white photographs are accurately captioned and complement the texts. Some sections of the text are cued with a small video emblem referring to a part of the video series by the same name. While some teachers may wish to supplement the books with these videotapes, these two volumes are excellent on their own. Middle-school students will probably use them for reports, while older readers with more background will want to read them through.-Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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