-- Clear and concise biographies of the best-known Civil War personalities -- Includes interesting and informative sidebars -- Presented in an easy-to-read format -- Complements school curriculum
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Grade 5-8-Straightforward but flawed overviews. Douglas was born and educated in New England and migrated in the 1830s to Illinois, where he achieved success as a judge and politician. He played a vital role in the Compromise of 1850, debated Abraham Lincoln in the 1858 Senate elections, and unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in 1860. The Connecticut-born Brown held a series of jobs throughout his life, raised a large family, and dedicated himself to the abolition of slavery. In 1859, he led an unsuccessful attempt to capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. He was convicted of treason and hanged. McClellan served as commander of the Army of the Potomac during the early years of the Civil War. The titles contain good-quality archival photos and reproductions; several of the images are repeated in the different volumes. The same map and caption appears in Bonner's and in Brackett's books. In the discussion of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Ottawa is said to be in southern Illinois, which it is not. McClellan includes a photo of Apaches, while the caption refers to Native Americans living in the Northwest; and a photo caption in Brown cites his meeting with Frederick Douglass as "1948," instead of "1848." And it should be noted that the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, not the Emancipation Proclamation, freed the slaves. The individual problems with these books may be small, but there are enough of them to warrant mention.
Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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