An engaging range of period texts and theme books for AS and A Level history.
This series (Cambridge Perspectives in History) offers trim volumes, attractive covers, and an admirably wide-ranging perspective. Unlike Greenhaven books, these are short, focused textsnot anthologies-that add depth to traditional topics. They do include useful document case study sections that accompany each chapter. The books run just 100 to 150 page but are definitely aimed at good high school readers. While I can see any secondary history department wanting to own copies of these, the focus is narrowly British in some books (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1800-1949) and too inclusively thematic in others. I'd love a good short book on either the French or Russian Revolution for my Modern Europe classes, but the Cambridge text that combines both integrates the two together in every thematic chapter, and that doesn't bode well if a course is primarily chronological. The thematic idea is useful in theory, but will it fit current curriculum in most schools? Two of the potentially most useful titles might be Fascism and The Origins of the First and Second World Wars. Other titles are Chartism, The Renaissance Monarchies (1469-1558) and Authority and Disorder in Tudor Times (1485-1603). KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Cambridge Univ. Press, 140p, 23cm, $11.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Daniel J. Levinson; History & English Teacher, Thayer Acad., Braintree, MA, July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)