From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–From the arrival of early migrants from Asia more than 13,000 years ago to 9/11/01, this book presents a time line of American history. Entries are organized by year and range in length from single sentences to brief paragraphs. Although some scientific and cultural happenings are also highlighted, the focus is on political milestones. A unique strength of the volume is its inclusion of quotes from figures living at the time of the incidents described. Students will need guidance from parents, teachers, or other sources to understand the significance of these occurrences in establishing and maintaining our country's freedom and to place them in their larger historical context. The final chapters lean heavily toward Republican administrations. Ronald Reagan is quoted 11 times, while Bill Clinton is quoted 4 times and 2 of those refer to his private behavior rather than to events underscoring our nation's freedom. Small, black-and-white reproductions and photos are scattered throughout. While the information presented here is readily available in many other resources, this right-leaning volume offers a quick listing of key moments in American history.–Kathy Lehman, Thomas Dale High School Library, Chester, VA
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Gr. 5-8. This stroll through history is rather unusual. It's not really a narrative. Year by year, important incidents from American history are described in short bursts (several lines or perhaps a paragraph) of straight information mixed with quotations. The tone is neutral, but editorial choices have been made in line with Cheney's political philosophy. For instance, the text noting that "the 1960s were a time of youthful idealism" mentions the Peace Corps and young people directing their hopes toward politics. It then excerpts the founding statement of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom, hardly one of the headlines of 1960. The book ends during the patriotic days after 9/11, thus avoiding the Iraq war and the intelligence failures surrounding it. The book's biggest problem is its format. Different typefaces and small photos add some interest, but the gray design doesn't encourage readers. Kids who like history may want to dip in and out of this, and readers less enamored with the topic may find history works for them in digestible bits. An extensive bibliography, including Web sites, will lead readers further. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved