Tuesday, January 27, 2009

War, Terrible War

I've completed the 6th volume in Joy Hakim's A History of US: War, Terrible War. You may remenber that this is the first of my WOE (While Otherwise Engaged) reading for the year. Refer to the first couple of posts in this blog for further clarification of "WOE reading".

This volume covers the years 1855-1865 in the history of the U.S. These books are written for young readers and so it does tend to simplify the major issues of the Civil War, however, I think they do a good job of portraying the ebb and flow of history. If this is the first book on the Civil War read by a teenager, for example, they will walk away with a fairly good idea of the prime players as well as the under currents that lead up to and through the war. The author, as in other volumes of this history, does a great job of including lots of relevant snippets, sidebar facts, and pictures to keep us turning the pages. Students of US history won't find much new here but that's not the role of the book (or the series). It effectively reviews the relevant issues of the time period, and that's what we expect. The slavery issue takes a lead role here as expected but other issues are not swept under the rug. All in all, a good entry in the series.

Next WOE read is Orwell's 1984.

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