The Life and Times of Alexander the Great (Biography of Ancient Civilizations)

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9781584152354: The Life and Times of Alexander the Great (Biography of Ancient Civilizations)

Alexander the Great led soldiers from his perch atop Bucephalus. He commanded the largest army the world had even known. He ruled a kingdom that stretched across two continents. Before he was 30, he was the richest man on the planet. He would know love and loss, but he'd never know an end to his ambitions. Only his death ended in conquest. Today, generals still study Alexander's battle plans. Manuscripts preserved at libraries he founded were used by historians to give us a record of his life. He was more than just a king. He spread democracy. In many ways, he was more of a liberator than a conqueror.

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About the Author:

John Bankston has written over 3 dozen biographies for young adults profiling scientists like Jonas Salk and Alexander Fleming, celebrities like Mandy Moore and Alicia Keys, great achievers like Alfred Nobel, and master musicians like Mozart. He worked in Los Angeles, California, as a producer, screenwriter and actor. Currently he is in preproduction on Dancing at the Edge, a semi-autobiographical film he hopes to film in Portland, Oregon. Last year he completed his first young adult novel, 18 to Look Younger.

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Reviewed with Susan Zannos' Dmitri Mendeleyev and the Periodic Table.

Gr. 5-8. Two entries in the Uncharted, Unexplored, and Unexplained: Scientific Advancements of the 19th Century series explore the achievements of nineteenth-century scientists and inventors. Mendeleyev begins with a fictionalized account of the scientist's childhood followed by a straightforward summary of the chemist's life. Sidebars offer background on the political upheavals in Russia during the time (important since Mendeleyev was heavily involved in radical politics). Lister is the weaker of the two titles. Lister's achievement in developing antiseptics isn't explained in enough detail, and the sidebars seemed tossed in to add bulk to the slender text (Charles Dickens, for example, makes a sidebar appearance, although he had nothing to do with Lister or antiseptics). Still, these will be useful to students who need slightly more information than an encyclopedia provides. Back matter includes a time line, a chronology, a few notes, a bibliography (including many adult titles), and a brief index. Todd Morning
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