10 November 1989: The Fall of the Berlin Wall; 21 July 1969: First Man on the Moon; 11 November 1918: The World War I Armistice; 12 October 1492: Columbus reaches the Americas; 11 September 2001: Attack on America
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10 November 1989: The Fall of the Berlin Wall
21 July 1969: First Man on the Moon
11 November 1918: The World War I Armistice
12 October 1492: Columbus reaches the Americas
11 September 2001: Attack on America
These are five of the twelve books that make up Cherrytree's series of 'Dates with History'. They include both the earliest and the latest in the series: Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492 and the attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11. They are short narratives, not only of the events on the dates themselves but also of historical developments of which they were a part. The Fall of the Berlin Wall is part of a discussion of the Cold War: and The World War I Armistice offers an account of the whole conflict, including its causes. Only 11 September is largely restricted to the events on the day itself.
These are introductions which, although in double page format with an illustration to each page, have the feel of continuous text. They go into no detail, and are simply and directly written. There are virtues to this approach, perhaps for the reader who has only a casual interest in the event, but there's also the feeling of a lot left out. This is particularly true of the captions on the illustrations. These often don't comment on the content of the illustrations, nor give their provenance or date, and sometimes even fail to point out whether they are artists' impressions or photographs. This cavalier attitude to historical evidence is possibly not something that schools would want to encourage.
It may be that these authors are experts in their fields. However, there is very little impression of enthusiasm for the subject, or of a greater knowledge lurking below the surface of the text. The series format makes the books all look and read the same. Although they may serve as starting points for the study of their subjects, their readers will need to go elsewhere to get a fuller picture. Unfortunately, although there is a timeline, glossary and index in each book, they offer no suggestions for further reading.