Two sterling additions to a fine series, the illustrations in these vigorous newcomers earmark them as research volumes, as potential visual aids tools and as sustenance for the boy with special interests. The format of both books is inviting, handsome and readable. Stirring big pictures add zest. The leading railroads have contributed a wealth of photographs and old prints which add immeasurably to the ""period"" feeling running through successive eras -- from the first primitive experiments with locomotives, through the linking of the transcontinental railroad. American history rides the rails -- in the chapters on Indian attacks, in the stories of the capitalists who shaped the nation's economy with railroad ties. A ""roundhouse roundup"", The Illustrated True Book of American shows us Abraham Lincoln in the midst of war finding time to investigate gauge dimensions and decide in favor of the new 4' -- 8-(apple)"" gauge; not too much later, the arrival of his funeral train at West Philadelphia Station. We see Chinese workers on the West Coast, Irish on the East, linking two coasts with rails. Adventurous boys should love the stories of the great train robberies. There is a glossary of railroad slang and a suggested bibliography as well as chronological maps showing railway development...Superb drawings by Gordon Grant and H.B. Vestal hail the equally fine sea-swept history of great American vessels; of schooners, sloops, whalers; of great naval engagements in The Story of American Sailing Ships. Iron men and wooden ships and their part in America's history, told with spanking illustrations and memorable style.