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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
"What is this life of yours, tell me its mystery—Trampled in dust is your ages-old history!" The book opens with poetry from Muhammad Iqbal, an Indian poet who wanted Muslims to "rise and become a great force in the world, as was their destiny." When India and Pakistan were partitioned in 1947, Pakistan did become the Muslim homeland in the region. It is identified as one of the cradles of civilization along with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Geographic details which can often be mundane and meaningless are given some life by such details as Heinrich Harrer's attempt to climb Nanga Parbat, a mountain now in Tibet. Harrer's experiences gave rise to the movie Seven Years in Tibet. The author also offers an interesting discussion of rivers as one of the "key ingredients of civilization." The Indus River is as great as the Nile, in this author's opinion, just less well known to Americans. Young readers will also learn that even though the word Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu, there is an incredible diversity of tribes and traditions within this small Islamic country. Once again, as is so often the case in the Middle East, boundaries were drawn by colonial powers with little regard for tribal and ethnic realities. The series does an excellent job of providing context and explanation for the modern states, rather than just a long narrative about dates, names and battles. Because of its size and organization, the book looks like a middle school book but the reading level is more appropriate to high school. There is plenty to discuss and individual chapters may be read independently. The chronology and index are thorough so it is useful for reference and student reports. The seriesincludes titles on nearly two-dozen countries from Georgia and Germany to Bahrain, Bermuda and Cuba. 2003, Chelsea House,
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-These presentations are straightforward and objective, underscoring political and economic events of the 20th century that made these two neighbors nations in crisis. Enriching his text with literary references, Crompton explains the challenges facing this country. Powerful ethnic groups like the Pashtuns resist the nation-state concept; dams have simultaneously enhanced agriculture while displacing thousands and oversalinating soil no longer touched by rivers; more than two million Afghan refugees are living on Pakistan soil; the population is exploding; and, unresolved disputes with India threaten to erupt. Gritzner points out that tribalism, rugged terrain, years of drought, war with the Soviet Union, and the continuing antiterrorist conflict with the United States have wreaked havoc on the welfare of Afghanistan's largely nomadic and agricultural population. Although some political and artistic folk heroes are introduced, these books do not dwell on the family and cultural pursuits of the people. Rather, both authors emphasize the historical, geographic, religious, and political influences that have shaped the current socioeconomic and political situation and prospects of each country. The full-color, captioned photographs are informative, and textual layout is appealing. With the constant need for contemporary views on trouble spots around the globe, these books fill a niche.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791092088
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: Modern World Nations Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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