Melvin Berger

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Barbara Elleman

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 196

In a broad overview beginning with evidence of its primitive use in Paleolithic times, Berger traces the history of dance in a straightforward, perfunctory manner [in The World of Dance]. The discussion touches on the styles that developed in ancient Egypt, Greece, the Orient, and Medieval Europe and comments on reasons for these developments. Ballet receives far more attention as Berger describes its evolution, explaining terms, summarizing story plots, and mentioning dancers and choreographers responsible for its present form. Also included is the influence of Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Twyla Tharp on the formation of modern dance techniques…. A useful history for music and social studies reports. (p. 748)

Barbara Elleman, in Booklist (reprinted by permission of the American Library Association; copyright 1979 by the American Library Association), January 1, 1979.

Unlike Berger's other entries in the Scientists at Work series, [Disease Detectives] sticks to one story—the Legionnaires' Disease mystery—to demonstrate the workings of the federal Center for Disease Control in Atlanta…. [As usual for the series,] Berger's text also tends to overemphasize routines and devices—but the Legionnaire's Disease case gives the book focus and continuity. (pp. 67-8)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1979 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), January 15, 1979.

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Barbara Elleman