This volume provides historical information and interpretation on ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, China, Africa, Israel, and elsewhere.
"These titles make up the UXL Ancient Civilizations Reference Library ($105, ISBN 0-7876-3980-X for all three volumes), what could have been one excellent survey for young people. Unfortunately, what we have is a choppy set whose good features are diminished by poor ones. The two-volume Almanac surveys 12 civilizations from around the world, arranged by geographic region. The articles are written for grades five and up and are very simplified, sometimes overly so. Most have sidebars and black-and-white illustrations, including photographs, line drawings, and some reproductions of paintings. Some of the articles carry the histories beyond the cutoff date of A.D. 476 (the fall of Rome) but not always and not consistently, and the transitions are awkward. Coverage is selective--Japan is reduced to a few lines in a sidebar in the China chapter (and not found at all in the index). The sidebars are often interesting, especially the "Words to Know" specific to the different areas and eras. The sidebar "Ancient Africa: The Debate Rages On" is one of the more lucid--and brief--explanations of Afrocentrism and Eurocentrism that we've seen. Each chapter has a "For More Information" section that includes both books and Web sites (each Web site has a date when it was accessed, most in early to middle 1999). There is also a general bibliography, repeated in both Almanac volumes. A time line is repeated in both Almanac volumes and the Biographies volume, as is a general "Words to Know" list. Almanac and Biographies are indexed separately, although a free cumulative index is available when all three volumes are purchased. It is hard to work out the selection criteria for the 28 individuals and two groups ("Scientists and Mathematicians," "Sculptors") in the Biographies volume. Biblical figures are included, although we do not have historical evidence for their existence. Perhaps because she is a woman, the only North European is Boadicea--not Vercingetorix, who frightened the Romans as badly. Egyptian rulers Akhenaton, Cleopatra, and Hatshepsut get full treatment, while Ramses II gets a one-line mention in the chapter on Moses. Socrates is a sidebar in the chapter on Confucius, although Plato and Aristotle have their own chapters. The chapters are structured in the same way as those in the Almanac volumes, with simply written texts, sidebars, and "For More Information" lists that in some cases include films as well as books and Web sites. Some of the "For More Information" selections, such as the film Quo Vadis? are difficult to take seriously. The volumes themselves are what one expects from a Gale imprint--sturdy, well laid out, and handsomely printed on quality paper. If the editing had been given the same careful thought, these would have been much better books and much more useful. Suitable for school libraries and public libraries, although the information is available in most encyclopedias."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
-- Juvenile literature.
-- Juvenile literature.
|| Detroit, MI :UXL,2000
Baker, Lawrence W.
McConnell, Stacy A.
2 volumes (xlv, 419, lix pages) : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
||0787639826 (set : hardcover)
0787639834 (v. 1)
0787638942 (v. 2)