Greg M. Romaneck
Children's LiteratureEven in our modern age there remain a number of nations that have some form of monarchical government in place. In Europe for example, nations such as Great Britain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark all maintain some form of monarchy in conjunction with parliamentary rule. In this illustrated book, author Nathaniel Harris takes a look at the origins, nature, and continued existence of rule by kings and queens in human history. This is one of a number of titles in the World Almanac Library "Systems of Government" series. As such it is designed to afford younger readers with an overview of the elements of a particular form of government. Readers not only learn information about royal rule but also about certain individual sovereigns and their reigns. This book is a fine and concise introduction to a very broad subject. Monarchs have ruled over their fellow human beings since the dawn of recorded history. Although the role of most modern sovereigns is vastly different than that of an ancient Pharaoh, Czar, or Caesar, the principles of monarchy remain the same. In this well-written book readers come to understand these underlying premises and gain a great deal of insight into monarchy as a form of government. 2006, World Almanac Library, Ages 12 up.
Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-9-These titles describe four primary forms of government. Specific examples, both from large and small countries and from many periods in history, help to clarify the definitions and highlight the small differences that exist even among similar governments. Most importantly, the authors note throughout how governments have changed over time and the influences that have affected such change, Russia being an excellent example. Some inconsistencies and overlapping information are apparent in the four volumes, as both Dowswell and Grant discuss Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro in some depth, which could be confusing to students who might then equate communism with dictatorship. Woolf mentions Myanmar, which has a brutal dictatorship, as a "struggling democracy," but it is never discussed in Dowswell's book. These titles would be more useful as a single volume, thus eliminating any discrepancies. The writing is generally clear, but occasionally lapses into lengthy explanations become convoluted. Historical and contemporary photographs offer visual reference for specific people or points of interest, and small sidebars are particularly interesting and helpful.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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