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

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THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, VOLUME 1

YOUNG READERS EDITION, 1898-1945

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. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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THE CIVIL WAR AT SEA

In this companion to Portraits of War: Civil War Photographers and Their Work (1998), Sullivan presents an album of the prominent ships and men who fought on both sides, matched to an engrossing account of the war's progress: at sea, on the Mississippi, and along the South's well-defended coastline. In his view, the issue never was in doubt, for though the Confederacy fought back with innovative ironclads, sleek blockade runners, well-armed commerce raiders, and sturdy fortifications, from the earliest stages the North was able to seal off, and then take, one major southern port after another. The photos, many of which were made from fragile glass plates whose survival seems near-miraculous, are drawn from private as well as public collections, and some have never been published before. There aren't any action shots, since mid-19th-century photography required very long exposure times, but the author compensates with contemporary prints, plus crisp battle accounts, lucid strategic overviews, and descriptions of the technological developments that, by war's end, gave this country a world-class navy. He also profiles the careers of Matthew Brady and several less well-known photographers, adding another level of interest to a multi-stranded survey. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7613-1553-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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MUMMIES, BONES, AND BODY PARTS

The author of the award-winning Mummies & Their Mysteries (1993) returns to the intriguing subject of mummies. Here she explains how they are formed, how scientists use a variety of sophisticated techniques to learn about peoples and cultures of long ago, and some of the controversies surrounding the study of human remains. As with the previous title, the photographs presented here are striking, from the Inca child who appears on the front cover, to the mummy of Egyptian King Seti I, which appears on the back. Other photographs show some of the first tattoos, details of the Iceman, an Italian child who died of smallpox 400 years ago, the remains of light-haired Caucasian mummies from Xinjiang, China, and the well-preserved bodies of Philip Calvert, governor of Maryland from 1660 to 1661. The science is impressive, as carbon-14 dating, CT scans, DNA profiling, and X-rays are used to solve ancient mysteries. What were the people like? What did they eat? When did they die? What caused their death? What were the diseases they suffered? The author also discusses the controversies as different cultures clash over studying human remains. She mentions the Native American Graves Protection and Reparation Act which gives Native Americans control over native remains buried on government land or held in collections owned or funded by the government, and discusses former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s, efforts to house Egyptian mummies in a more dignified way. Though Wilcox discusses respect for the dead, she nonetheless pictures the controversial “Human Body Art” of German artist Gunther von Hagens, and “Sylvester,” a mummy used to greet customers in a shop in Seattle. Also pictured are the remains of an outlaw put on display for 65 years as a moneymaking exhibit for a funeral parlor. The author concludes with a glossary, extensive bibliography including Web sites, and a detailed index. Intriguing science, dramatically presented. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2000

ISBN: 1-57505-428-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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