Children's LiteratureIn October, 1962, the world stood on the brink of nuclear disaster. For thirteen days the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union attempted to negotiate a settlement to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Triggered by the Soviet installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba, this confrontation was the most intense of the Cold War. Eventually, the diplomats arrived at a peaceful solution and the Soviet missiles were removed from Cuba. However, in reality, the world came within an inch of obliteration. Volume two of "The Cold War" series addresses the events, implications, leaders and outcomes of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Author Peter Chrisp links his fast paced and artfully written text with a sequence of illustrations, all of which provide a marvelous introduction to this critical event. In addition, the text is liberally sprinkled with quotations from individuals involved in the crisis. Through the words of Robert Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro readers will get a feel for how intricate the Cuban Missile Crisis was. This is an outstanding book and one that readers young and old will find both informative and nerve wracking. 2002, World Almanac Library, $29.27. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-8 These books examine each conflict in the broader context of the Cold War. In both, much of the discussion is devoted to the historical background. The first half of Missile Crisis covers the events leading up to the "momentous" days of October, 1962. Aside from the fact that the same secondary sources are repeatedly quoted, this title provides a good overview of the crisis and the underlying reasons for Soviet and American actions. Vietnam presents an international perspective that is often lacking in books on the topic from American publishers. (It was originally published in Britain.) However, a quote from Edward R. Murrow is put into the context of Nixon's Vietnamization plan, even though Murrow died in 1965, four years before Nixon became president. Despite this minor sloppiness, most students will find this a balanced and dispassionate account of the war. Each book features mostly black-and-white photographs on every page, along with helpful maps; a time line; and lists of books, videos, and Web sites. A rather skimpy index and brief glossary round out the back of each volume. -Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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