School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-8-These books attempt to help students understand these events by looking at the leaders who were at the center of each conflict. Each title opens with a short overview of its subject and then provides one- to one-and-a-half-page profiles of about 14 military and civilian leaders. They begin with a few general sentences, followed by more specific information about how that person influenced events. Both books include individuals from the U.S. as well as its allies and adversaries. The authors are objective about their subjects, and the biographical sketches are generally well written, but the books are very short on information. Each spread includes a full-page portrait of a leader and often an additional photo. There is little space left for detail or analysis; most researchers would find better coverage of most of these people in an encyclopedia entry. Additionally, Bjornlund mistakenly has Winston Churchill losing his post as prime minister at the Yalta instead of the Potsdam conference, awards Harry Truman a law degree (he did not attend college), and dates Ronald Reagan's "evil empire" speech in 1983 instead of 1982. Michael Uschan's Political Leaders (Lucent, 2002) and Kevin and Laurie Collier Hillstrom's two-volume Vietnam War: Biographies (UXL, 2001) offer much more background information, detail, and analysis about their respective subjects, making them better choices for middle level and secondary libraries.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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