ANDREW CARNEGIE

STEEL KING AND FRIEND TO LIBRARIES

This latest addition in the Historical American Biographies series is a well-written and balanced biography of a poor Scottish immigrant who came to America at the age of 13 and immediately began work in a cotton mill and bobbin factory with his father. A small, energetic, honest worker, he seized opportunities to forward his career. At age 15 he began as a telegraph operator, then worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and finally formed Carnegie Steel, the largest steel company in the world. At age 20, following the death of his father, Carnegie became the sole supporter of his family. Kent (The Civil War, 1997, etc.) details how Carnegie’s real interest later in life became the “business of giving”; he believed that “the man who dies . . . rich dies disgraced.” Librarians know his story well, but students will be astonished by the amount of money he gave and the number of libraries he built. Well-researched and often illuminating. (b&w photos, not seen, maps, chronology, notes, glossary, further reading, index) (Biography. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7660-1212-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Enslow

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1998

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JAM!

THE STORY OF JAZZ MUSIC

A busy page design—artily superimposed text and photos, tinted portraits, and break-out boxes—and occasionally infelicitous writing (“Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie became . . . bandleader of the quintet at the Onyx Club, from which bebop got its name”) give this quick history of jazz a slapdash air, but Lee delves relatively deeply into the music’s direct and indirect African roots, then goes beyond the usual tedious tally of names to present a coherent picture of specific influences and innovations associated with the biggest names in jazz. A highly selective discography will give readers who want to become listeners a jump start; those seeking more background will want to follow this up with James Lincoln Collier’s Jazz (1997). (glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8239-1852-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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1000 MAKERS OF THE MILLENNIUM

With an emphasis on Western “makers” of the millennium, and, perhaps inevitably, deep coverage of the last 200 years and fleeting coverage of the first few centuries, this volume offers brief biographical sketches of 1,000 people who had an impact on the last 1,000 years. Profusely illustrated and printed on heavy glossy stock, this is a coffee table book for children, meant to be dipped into rather than read from start to finish. Organized chronologically, with a chapter for each century, the parade of people is given context through a timeline of major events, with those of particular importance discussed in special boxes. As with any effort of this kind, there are surprising omissions (the publisher is creating a website for readers’ own suggestions) and inclusions, a Western predominance that grows more pronounced in the later centuries, and an emphasis on sports and celebrity that finishes off the last few decades. The selection can seem highly subjective and provocatively arbitrary, e.g., the US presidents from Nixon back to Teddy Roosevelt are all covered, but none after Nixon. Still, there is a clear effort to include a wide variety of countries and cultures, and this ambitious effort will be the starting point for many historical journeys. (chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-4709-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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