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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 12 up.
Founded in the 1850s, the Republican Party remains one of the bulwarks of American politics. A party that initially advocated for the emancipation of slaves and the well-being of working class people, the Republican Party has morphed into a much different entity. Over the years, the Republican Party has featured preeminent leaders such as Ronald Reagan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. It is the story of this powerful political force that Heather Lehr Wagner explains in this selection from the illustrated "The U.S. Government: How it Works" series. In detailing the Republican Party's development, Wagner adopts a prototypical chronological style. Her narrative walks the reader through the presidential elections as they have unfolded from 1856 to the present. In each instance, Wagner sets the stage for the performance of various successful and unsuccessful Republican candidates. In telling this story, Wagner is thorough yet limited in how she presents information. The facts are all there and sequenced in a meaningful way but what is missing are the personal traits of most of these leading political figures. The result of this traditional and fact-based approach to history is a textbook, rather than a "flesh and blood" account of history. Some further attention to the personalities of leading Republicans would have made this a better book and increased its appeal for readers. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck