From Library Journal
Goldstein (America at D-Day, LJ 6/1/94) presents here first-person accounts of famous and obscure events in history written by ordinary people who were eyewitnesses. The accounts range from Giovanni Verrazano's description of the New World to nurse Bobby Johnson's story of the Oklahoma City bombing. The work concludes with brief glimpses of the end of the 1996 presidential campaign. Arranged chronologically, each section begins with historical background and a brief summary of each writer's role. The accounts vary in length from one paragraph to several pages. Events span the triumphant to the tragic, the important to the merely interesting. While some readers may quarrel with the author's choices, history teachers will find this a gold mine for class discussions and history buffs will enjoy dipping into it. For all public and academic libraries.?Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Quick snapshots of some crucial events and turning points in American history, drawn from the impressions of eyewitnesses. Goldstein (Ivy League Autumns: An Illustrated History of College Football's Grand Old Rivalries, 1996, etc.), a New York Times editor, gathers a broad collection of first-person testimony from many people ``who were there,'' ranging from Verrazano reporting his 1524 landing in the New World up to Bob Dole, speaking after he cast his vote in the 1996 presidential election. Goldstein's short comments set the stage for the witnesses, who range from the obscure to the familiar. Adams, Jefferson, Dolley Madison, Dickens, Thoreau, Grant, Whitman, Twain, Henry Ford, Lindbergh, Theodore and Eleanor Roosevelt are among the more famous included here. The brief reports (most no more than one or two pages) drawn from letters, journals, memoirs, newspaper reports, and court testimony, add color and life to static--if highly important--historical tableaus, including the Boston Tea Party, the fall of the Alamo, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln's assasination, the invention of the telephone, labor unrest at Homestead, the Wright brothers' first flight, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Montgomery bus boycott, the Cuban missile crisis, and Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon, among many other events. Goldstein's selections stress such things as the long struggle for equality by African-Americans and women, and the battles of labor unions for fair wages and better working conditions. Inevitably, there is a somewhat hit-or-miss quality to the book: Every major event can't be included, and many seemingly worthy of notice (and with lively documentary material to draw from), such as the Reagan conservative revolution and the Gulf War, aren't here. Flash-card history that may whet the appetites of deprived history students, but a light meal for serious readers. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.