Karl (The Search for the Ten-Winged Dragon, 1990, etc.) admits in her foreword that America Alive is by no means a complete history of this land. How could it be when she covers from the first people to travel across the land bridge between Asia and America, during the Ice Age, until the present? That said, this book is an easy and enjoyable read. Because the narrative flows naturally from subject to subject, and is finished in little over 100 pages, the reader can truly see history's own narrative unfolding. Karl divides her work into ten chapters: ""The First Americans"" is about Native American culture before the arrival of Europeans; ""The First Settlers"" covers Roanoke Island, Jamestown, and the Puritan settlements; ""Finding a New Way"" discusses the Revolutionary War and the building of the nation; and so on. The idea of placing standing portraits of historical figures in the margins is inspired. They don't disrupt the text, they add to the general sense of continuity, and they are an education in themselves. Unlike more comprehensive volumes, Karl's gives the student of history an overview of the forest. And what a magnificent forest it is.