A natural and notable companion for Joy Hakim’s magisterial but sunnier History of US (2006).



From the Untold History of the United States series

The darker side of the "American Century," recast for younger audiences from the companion to a sobering documentary film (book and film both 2012).

From the hugely profitable Spanish American War to the "gratuitous" bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the co-authors "focus a spotlight on the ways we believe the United States has betrayed its mission and the ideals of its own Constitution." That harsh light moves from the U.S. subjugation of Latin America to the ready support American industrialists gave both the Germans in World War I and the Axis in World War II—casting sidelights on the hypocrisy of Woodrow Wilson and Truman's lack of statesmanship and moral vacuity. The account closes with the thoroughly documented claim that the atomic bombs were dropped more as a message to Stalin than to force Japan into a surrender for which it was already practically begging. Along with giving Russia a more significant role in defeating both Hitler and Japan than standard histories usually grant, the authors also point to other turning points and near misses that are rarely if ever part of standard school curricula. The first of a planned four-volume set, this has a more open page design than the original book for adults and some additional photos.

A natural and notable companion for Joy Hakim’s magisterial but sunnier History of US (2006). (chronology, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2173-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Intrepid explorer Lourie tackles the “Father of Waters,” the Mighty Mississippi, traveling by canoe, bicycle, foot, and car, 2,340 miles from the headwaters of the great river at the Canadian border to the river’s end in the Gulf of Mexico. As with his other “river titles” (Rio Grande, 1999, etc.), he intertwines history, quotes, and period photographs, interviews with people living on and around the river, personal observations, and contemporary photographs of his journey. He touches on the Native Americans—who still harvest wild rice on the Mississippi, and named the river—loggers, steamboats, Civil War battles, and sunken treasure. He stops to talk with a contemporary barge pilot, who tows jumbo-sized tank barges, or 30 barges carrying 45,000 tons of goods up and down and comments: “You think ‘river river river’ night and day for weeks on end.” Lourie describes the working waterway of locks and barges, oil refineries and diesel engines, and the more tranquil areas with heron and alligators, and cypress swamps. A personal travelogue, historical geography, and welcome introduction to the majestic river, past and present. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-56397-756-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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If Freedman wrote the history textbooks, we would have many more historians. Beginning with an engrossing description of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, he brings the reader the lives of the American colonists and the events leading up to the break with England. The narrative approach to history reads like a good story, yet Freedman tucks in the data that give depth to it. The inclusion of all the people who lived during those times and the roles they played, whether small or large are acknowledged with dignity. The story moves backwards from the Boston Tea Party to the beginning of the European settlement of what they called the New World, and then proceeds chronologically to the signing of the Declaration. “Your Rights and Mine” traces the influence of the document from its inception to the present ending with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The full text of the Declaration and a reproduction of the original are included. A chronology of events and an index are helpful to the young researcher. Another interesting feature is “Visiting the Declaration of Independence.” It contains a short review of what happened to the document in the years after it was written, a useful Web site, and a description of how it is displayed and protected today at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. Illustrations from the period add interest and detail. An excellent addition to the American history collection and an engrossing read. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1448-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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