Courtroom Drama 120 of the World's Most Notable Trials (Volumes 1-3)

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9780787617356: Courtroom Drama 120 of the World's Most Notable Trials (Volumes 1-3)
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UXL brings the drama of history's most notable -- and notorious -- trials to the classroom with Courtroom Drama. This one-stop source provides details on the key events, people and outcomes of 120 of the world's most compelling trials, including:

  • United States v. Susan B. Anthony (on trial for women's rights)
  • Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (Indian nations attempt to sue U.S. citizens)
  • Thomas More (on trial for treason)
  • John Thomas Scopes (on trial for teaching evolution in the classroom)
  • And dozens more

Each trial is profiled in a two- to five-page entry that begins with the vital statistics listed at-a-glance. An in-depth essay follows, describing the events leading up to the trial, key moments of the trial and the aftermath of the decision. Approximately 175 black-and-white illustrations depict key people and places. Also included are a glossary, sidebars, and a subject index.

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From Booklist:

From the trial of Socrates (399 B.C.) to 1997's Vacco v. Quill, which resulted in the Supreme Court ruling that upheld state laws prohibiting assisted suicide, this source provides coverage of trials "that helped shape the course of world history." The trials are organized into 13 categories, including assassinations, murders, war crimes, political corruption, freedom of speech, family law, and constitutional cases. The majority of cases resulted in trials that followed established rules of procedure, though some, such as the Salem witch trials, were not real trials at all. The criteria used for inclusion in these volumes is not indicated by the editors, other than historical significance.

Arranged chronologically within category, the volumes have two tables of contents; one is arranged by volume and category, with summaries of each case, and the other is arranged chronologically. In typical UXL style, the same table of contents is repeated in all three volumes for easy access. A glossary, also repeated, defines terms such as expert witness and voir dire. A cumulative index concludes each of the three volumes in the set. Within the index, trial names appear in bold type and are treated as titles, so that Thomas More Trials is listed under T. An entry for Thomas More under M provides an additional point of access.

Trials are arranged in chronological order within each category. Each entry begins with a presentation of the facts (defendants, prosecutors, lawyers, crimes charged, justices, location, dates, verdict/decision, and the significance of the case) followed by an essay describing the events leading up to the case, a brief overview of the case, and its impact on history. Entries are generally two to five pages long. The text is easily understood and contains little, if any, legal terminology. At the conclusion of each essay, suggestions for further reading are provided. Many entries include black-and-white photos of people involved in the cases, and there are sidebars with related information. A list of contributors is provided without their credentials.

Although the essays are brief, they provide basic information presented in an attractive and accessible manner. A similar source from Gale, Great American Trials [RBB F 1 94], has information on 200 trials but limits its coverage to the U.S. A companion volume, Great World Trials [RBB Je 1 & 15 97], covers 100 non-U.S. cases from 415 B.C. to 1996. Both of these titles are designed for readers at the high-school level and up. Courtroom Drama is a useful resource for middle-school, high-school, and public libraries.

Review:

"Basic information presented in an attractive and accessible manner. A useful resource for middle-school, high-school, and public libraries."
-- RBB/Booklist (04/01/98) (19980401)

"A worthwhile reference set. Highly recommended."
-- Book Report (September/October 1998) (19980901)

Elaborate and well organized. Covers an unusual and uncharacteristically wide array of basic court actions.
-- Against the Grain (September 1998)

(19980901)

"A feast for curious students who are interested in history as well as law. A stimulating work that will have students browsing well beyond their assignments."
-- School Library Journal (August 1998) (19980801)

"The text is easily understood and contains little, if any, legal terminology. Basic information presented in an attractive and accessible manner."
-- RBB/Booklist (04/01/98)

(19980401)

"Cases, accompanied by approximately 240 photos and illustrations, are aptly chosen for their relevance to K-12 curriculum. Will assure motivated learners in integrated studies' projects."
-- Knowledge Quest (March/April 1998) (19980301)

"Relates the notable and notorious events, people, and outcomes of the world's most compelling legal battles. Cases, accompanied by approximately 240 photos and illustrations, are aptly chosen for their relevance to K-12 curriculum. The editors have also chosen wisely, as they have excellent instincts regarding the intrinsic interest of these cases to students. Will assure motivated learners in integrated studies' projects."
-- Knowledge Quest (March/April 1998) (19980301)

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ISBN 10: 0787617350 ISBN 13: 9780787617356
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