Children's Literature - Greg M. RomaneckIn "The Drama of American History" series, the Collier brothers ably present critical time periods in our nation's history. In this volume the focus rests on the huge changes wrought by the industrialization of American life. The socio-economic alterations faced by the generation born prior to the Civil War are as all encompassing as those experienced by any generation in American history. American society entered that era as one primarily agrarian in nature. By the end of the nineteenth century the vast majority of Americans resided in or near cities. The pace and scope of the workday radically changed from a time when individual and handmade craftsmanship was superseded by the routine of machine assembly. Life in America changed in fundamental ways as families moved from the family farm to the bustle of urban life. This book details these social factors and looks at the giants of the age who helped shape the broader society. Individuals such as Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, and Westinghouse are each clearly described in their unique roles within the changing economic world. Attendantly, the painful emergence of the labor unions is described in a manner fitting for that necessary yet bloody transformation. The rise of industry marked the transition to the modern world that we know. As such it is vitally important to see where our current society came from. Through the use of well crafted text and period photographs and illustrations this book provides a balanced and enjoyable account of a vitally significant time in American history.
School Library JournalGr 5-8-Although many history books for children aim only at an objective presentation of the facts, the Colliers have opted for interpretational history. As the series preface states, the authors are interested in "citizenship education" and in presenting "the basic themes of the American story, and what they mean to us now." In Immigration, they explain that conditions in the immigrants' homelands and in the U.S., including racial and ethnic prejudice, class distinctions, and maltreatment of the powerless by the powerful, created the vast waves of movement that had such an impact on this country in the 19th century. Yet, only a generation or two later, immigrants or their children often expressed anti-immigrant sentiments against new arrivals. Likewise, in Industry, the tremendous economic boon to the U.S. is not trumpeted to the exclusion of the abuse of workers-including children-by early industry giants, and the deep philanthropy of some figures is explicitly tied to the wealth gained by owners at the expense of employees. By focusing on broad themes, the Colliers are able to show cause and effect over several decades and to make the sweep of time "bite-sized" and intelligible. The frequent full-color and black-and-white period photographs and engravings effectively supplement and enrich the texts.-Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >