This is not another collection of platitudes about democracy, as the title might suggest, but the story of the American people making their own history. As such, it is a welcome corrective to the view of American history as a series of peaks inhabited by Pilgrims, George Washington, Daniel Boone, and Abraham Lincoln. Discussed in chronological order are many topics seldom broached for this age level: the extension of the franchise; the unfair treatment of the Indians and measures to correct it; the indignity of slavery; equal rights for women; the formation of labor unions; trust-busting; the depression and the New Deal; the cold war and the Marshall Plan; the civil rights movement. These and other topics are handled in simple but not simple-minded fashion. When clarity demands a difficult word, the author uses it and explains its meaning. She quotes aptly from contemporary documents, speeches and remarks. This is potentially even more valuable than Miss Cavanah's long used Our Country's Story, and like it, can be read aloud to first and second graders, and read by third and fourth graders themselves. It's as timely as the news on TV, it's the knowledge behind the news.