A convincing, handsomely produced argument that the proclamation, for all its acknowledged limitations, remains a watershed...

EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION

LINCOLN AND THE DAWN OF LIBERTY

A vivid depiction of the issues and tensions surrounding abolition and the development of Lincoln’s responses to them as the United States plunged into the Civil War.

From the first, Bolden adopts a personal voice that infuses her narrative with urgency—“Over the years, we rejoiced when a Northern state abolished the abomination. We agonized when a slave state entered the union.” The account opens with scenes of hushed abolitionist vigils as the hour that the proclamation would officially go into effect approaches; it closes with glimpses of the joyous celebrations that followed. In between, the author tracks rising tides of both rhetoric and violence, as well as the evolution of President Abraham Lincoln’s determined efforts to forge a policy that would serve military, political and moral necessities alike. Along with relevant sections of the Constitution and the final proclamation’s full text (both with glosses), the author adds to her narrative a heavy infusion of impassioned rhetoric from contemporary writers and orators. These, plus a spectacular set of big, sharply reproduced prints, photos and paintings, offer cogent insights into major events and the overall tenor of the public discourse.

A convincing, handsomely produced argument that the proclamation, for all its acknowledged limitations, remains a watershed document. (endnotes, bibliography, extensive timeline) (Nonfiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0390-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead.

THE PERFECT HORSE

THE DARING RESCUE OF HORSES KIDNAPPED DURING WORLD WAR II

Letts adapts her bestselling 2016 work of the same title for young readers.

As World War II sweeps across Europe, the fates of several master horsemen become entwined. In Poland, Andrzej Kristalovich, head of the national stud farm, sees his life’s work disappear when Russian soldiers capture his horses. Nazi Germans, invading next, restore some of the animals in order to breed them for the Third Reich. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Olympic medalist Alois Podhajsky is desperately trying to care for the Lipizzan stallions at the famed Spanish Riding School even as the invading Germans capture the Lipizzan stud farms and move most of the horses to Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, at an American Army base in Kansas, Maj. Hank Reed is overseeing the cavalry’s transition from horses, no longer useful in warfare, to mechanized vehicles. These threads come together at the end of the war when Reed orchestrates a complex rescue of both sets of horses. This is not a particularly successful adaptation. It’s shorter than the original, but both the storyline and timeline are fragmented, making it difficult for the putative audience of 8- to 12-year-olds to follow, and extraneous details fail to advance the main narrative. Aside from a map and archival images (both not seen), there is no timeline or other visual aid to help organize the narrative. Characters are all white.

If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead. (author’s note, characters, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64474-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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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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