Gr 8 Up-Aaseng looks at eight situations during this century that have demanded decisive presidential action. He describes them in detail, presents the options that were available, and encourages readers to make their own choices. They can then turn a page and find out who the president was and what he did. There is also a ``hindsight'' section that details the results and long-term effects of these decisions. The Pennsylvania coal strike of 1902, the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the race riots in Little Rock, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Watergate burglary are included. From them, readers can see that our leaders are often faced with less-than-perfect options, and that what may be best for the country may not be politically feasible, such as Wilson's attempt to force the U.S. into joining the League of Nations. All of the presidents are pictured, as are the major players and appropriate scenes from each event. This format will help YAs understand both the scope and limitations of the power the president wields and the ways in which the office has evolved. A good companion to more general overviews such as Richard M. Pious's The Presidency (Silver Burdett, 1991) and Michael Kronenwetter's The Military Power of the President (Watts, 1988; o.p.).-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO
Aaseng devotes a chapter a piece to a crisis faced by each of eight twentieth-century U.S. presidents, among them, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon. The stated problems are accompanied by three to five possible presidential responses, putting the reader right into the Oval Office to weigh evidence and choose solutions to complex situations. The information in each chapter is basic and succinct, with a clear format: the statement of the conflict, the possible alternative solutions, a list summarizing those alternatives, the president's choice, and a description of the aftermath of the choice made by each of the presidents. Source notes and a brief bibliography are appended. A good addition to collections in schools with debate teams.