School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-Using primary sources, the authors draw readers into the societal events that led up to each trial and influenced its outcome. Burnett examines the effects of the Cold War and the anxiety about communism that pervaded America in the early 1950s. He discusses the Rosenbergs' background and acquaintances, and the activities that led to their being charged with spying for the Soviets. The strategies of the defense and prosecution, the appeals, the great public support for their innocence, and their executions are analyzed. The second title investigates the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner by a group of 18 white men determined to prevent the South from integrating at the orders of the federal government. The book explains the social climate of the Southern states in the 1960s and how the trial came to be about lesser charges than murder. The defense and prosecution strategies are presented along with an explanation of the judge's political convictions. The primary sources in both books are mostly in the form of photographs of the principal individuals and are documented in appended lists. These volumes encompass much the same material as Judy Monroe's The Rosenberg Cold War Spy Trial (2001) and Harvey Fireside's The Mississippi Burning Civil Rights Murder Conspiracy Trial (2002, both Enslow), but are not as in depth and would be suitable for younger readers.-Elizabeth Stumpf, Clearfield Middle School, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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