Age Range: 10 & up
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 The second in Hakim's projected ten-volume ``A History of US'' (also available: The First Americans, ISBN 0-19-507745-8). The tone is notably informal, even jocular, but not at the expense of content. Focusing here on Jamestown, the New England Puritans, and the other European colonists, the author brings a formidable amount of illuminating detail to a lively narrative, makes valuable connections between past and present, introduces important concepts in their original context, shares a contagious enthusiasm for history's pivotal ideas, colorful characters, and their stories, distinguishes between documented fact and conjecture, and reiterates such thoughts as that--among imported ideas, as well as both settlers and Indians--``Some are good, some are not so good,'' with examples to prove it. Her careful depiction of the Native American point of view is remarkably evenhanded. The breezy style occasionally leads to imprecision (``the Pope...didn't approve of all that marrying. So King Henry founded the Church of England''), but generally the text is lucid, accurate, and extraordinarily immediate; questions addressed to the reader are genuinely stimulating and provocative. Sidebars and captions amplify the main text; the many period illustrations are often crisply reproduced, but sometimes reduced beyond clarity (the flimsy see-through paper doesn't help). In every sense, a fresh look at our history; Hakim's perceptive eye, no-nonsense approach, and wit are all welcome. Chronology; ``More Books to Read'' (from an Aliki biography to Miller's The Crucible); index. (Nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-19-507747-4
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1993