Gr 9 Up-In each book, a series foreword discusses the reasons and significance of arbitrary borders, past and present, and the impact on international affairs. The introductions present a generalized view of the conflicts and their causes in which artificial borders, religion, and ethnicity are made more complex by colonialism, culture, and economics. All of the volumes take a chronological approach. Occasional text boxes add further information about individuals, documents, movements, and events. Primary-source quotes, including poetry, are scattered throughout. Each volume has copious end notes, a detailed index, a simple map, and average-quality black-and-white photos. However, Ireland's map does not show the location of Derry and Ulster, two places frequently mentioned in the text. Korea is a dry read, reverting to textbook style, yet its chronology is the most detailed. Students will find Great Wall more engaging. Single-word definitions appear in parentheses following a few terms, and alternate spellings are noted for place and personal names. The historical/political analysis in these titles will be appreciated by researchers, but some background knowledge on these topics would be helpful.-Marilyn Fairbanks, Azure IRC, Brockton High School, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.