The U.S. is an adaptable and resilient nation, and these thorough entries in the Understanding American History series prove it. Complemented by maps and archival photographs, each title relates the defining characteristics of each time period and the conditions that carved them while also identifying key people and events. The 1960s shows how the decade came to be identified as an era of change as mounting frustration against the war in Vietnam and the desire for civil rights led to rebellion among youth. The Great Depression busts the myth that the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, was an isolated event by describing how ignored early warning signs and government inaction contributed to this event. It also explains conditions that exacerbated the Depression and compares Presidents Hoover's and FDR's handling of the crisis. Prohibition describes the enormous problems that plagued this constitutional amendment, including difficulty in enforcing it and a rise in organized crime, and how it was eventually repealed. From the Occupy Wall Street movements to the establishment of the federal minimum wage to the war on drugs, the books conclude with each time period's legacy. These books keep research interesting.
The 1960s: ISBN 978-1-60152-494-2 / eBook: 978-1-60152-495-9
The Great Depression: ISBN 978-1-60152-492-8 / eBook: 978-1-60152-493-5
Prohibition: ISBN 978-1-60152-508-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-509-3
School Library Journal, June 1, 2013
Gr 7-10—These three books expose the causes and effects of their featured topics. Prohibition greatly impacted organized crime. The Great Depression saw the lives of the middle class impaired the most. In the 1960s, immense social changes came about, as well as a mistrust of government that can still be seen today. Each title starts with a time line of events, followed by a chapter on defining characteristics. After fully explaining the subject, a closing chapter brings each one’s legacy to light. Period photographs, maps, and sidebars add clarity and interest to the texts. These books are deceptively slim and packed with information. Readers will come away with a full understanding of the topics. Extensive source notes, a list of important people, suggestions for further research, and a complete index finish off each work. Worthy additions.
—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Beginning with Prohibition and ending with the financial crash that brought the Roaring Twenties to a screeching halt, this volume in the Understanding American History series delves into the legislation, urbanization, and decadence of the decade with a keenly academic eye. Just as likely to explore the impact of changing gender roles on skirt length as it is to get into the heady territory of stock trading, this wide-ranging book also looks at the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, Mob activity, and the Scopes trial. The design is basic, but the period photos are excellent: dance marathons, food rations lines, and the celebrations upon the end of Prohibition. A worthy supplement to classroom history discussions, this deftly explores this seemingly lawless, bold, and mesmerizing portion of American history.