Children's LiteratureVolume three of Michael Burgan's "Cold War" series focuses upon those flashpoints that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. During the 1950s and 1960s the United States and the Soviet Union confronted one another with massive conventional and thermonuclear arsenals. Those years were ones in which the threat of catastrophic global war was quite real. Rebellions across Eastern Europe, particularly in Hungary during the fifties, caused tensions to soar throughout the world. The outbreak of war in Korea that eventually included Communist Chinese troops served as a near cause for nuclear conflict. American involvement in warfare in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia fostered an air of distrust between the super powers. American U-2 missions and the Cuban Missile Crisis also brought about confrontations and nearly precipitated warfare. This was a time of confrontation, brinkmanship and bloodshed. In a very real sense, the threats described in this outstanding, illustrated historical work could have resulted in the destruction of society as we know it. Fortunately, as Burgan ably describes, cooler heads prevailed. As in the other volumes of this series, the author does a superb job of detailing a complicated and important part of history. This is a fine book and worthy of attention. 2001, Raintree Steck-Vaughn, $35.68. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7 Up-Part of a five-volume set, these two titles cover the period from the 1930s to just after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963. A wealth of information about politics, leaders, and military history is crammed into each book. The author writes in a clear, documentary style, and offers lucid explanations of such terms and concepts as communism, capitalism, the Iron Curtain, SAC, and more. The Web-site and further-reading sections are helpful for research. An excellent place to start reading about and appreciating the many complex issues of the Cold War era.-David M. Alperstein, Queens Borough Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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