In this addition to the "Looking Back" series, the author's background in Archeology and Ancient History comes to the forefront. The book is a well-organized look at nearly ten millennia of ancient history. Malam's explanation of the changes in the geography of the land are enlightening, and the connections he makes between the later rulers of the area and general Middle Eastern history are useful. This is also a good introduction to the birth of writing and the Gilgamesh/Noah stories. The illustrations are well chosen and captioned. A timeline, glossary, bibliography, and index round out the study. This British writer has been producing very competent non-fiction for some time.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-This useful title traces the evolution of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians from prehistoric peoples to agrarian village cultures to flourishing empires. Individual chapters concentrate on government, religion, arts, sciences, and the rise of the Persian Empire. Competently written with useful information for reports, this cultural history is well organized and clearly stated. Maps and full-color reproductions and photographs of artifacts and ruins help make the presentation attractive and easy to understand. For those wanting more extensive information, Pamela F. Service's Mesopotamia (Benchmark, 1998) and Elaine Landau's The Assyrians, The Babylonians, and The Sumerians (all Millbrook, 1997) offer good solid information for the same age group.-Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.