Children's LiteratureAmerica underwent a vast social transformation between 1820 and 1920. At the start of that one hundred year period, the great majority of Americans resided on farms or in small hamlets. By 1920, America was an urbanized nation with numerous large metropolitan centers. Places like New York, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland grew by leaps and bounds as Americans left their rural roots to become city dwellers. With this migration to the cities came a host of related developments. Advances in architecture, industry, transportation and science made life in the cities hugely different than it had been for earlier generations of Americans. This enormous social transformation and its role in shaping our modern world are covered in this volume of "The Drama of American History" series. As is the norm for this historical set, the authors trace not only the key events of the time period, but more specifically, the impact these events had upon the lives of average people. Topics such as social reform efforts, settlement houses, tenement living and political machines are each handled in a thoughtful and compassionate manner. This is a fine book and one that tells a fascinating story. 2001, Benchmark Books, $20.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library JournalGr 6-10-A book that focuses on the broad themes of history rather than facts and dates. After tracing the growth of American cities from centers of commerce along the Atlantic coast to large metropolitan areas, the Colliers outline the reasons for this phenomenon, mainly immigration and industry. The problems and failures of urbanization (sewage, water treatment, and housing) are also considered. One typo was noted on a map: "Evensville" instead of "Evansville." The exceptional illustrations include color graphics and maps, reproductions of photographs by Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine, and period advertisements and lithographs. An accessible, attractive book.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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