Gr 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.