American Folklore: An Encyclopedia / Edition 1

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Contains over 500 articles
Ranging over foodways and folksongs, quiltmaking and computer lore, Pecos Bill, Butch Cassidy, and Elvis sightings, more than 500 articles spotlight folk literature, music, and crafts; sports and holidays; tall tales and legendary figures; genres and forms; scholarly approaches and theories; regions and ethnic groups; performers and collectors; writers and scholars; religious beliefs and practices. The alphabetically arranged entries vary from concise definitions to detailed surveys, each accompanied by a brief, up-to-date bibliography.
Special features
*More than 2000 contributors
*Over 500 articles spotlight folk literature, music, crafts, and more
*Alphabetically arranged
*Entries accompanied by up-to-date bibliographies
*Edited by America's best-known folklore authority

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Editorial Reviews

Packed with entries on folklorists, multiracial performers, crafts, music, and academic discussion, this comprehensive folklore encyclopedia is useful to most readers, and informative. Coverage is thorough. Above all, the encyclopedia is scholarly. -- ARBA '97
Library Journal
Within limits carefully delineated in the preface (e.g., "American" is to be understood as North American but not, except for select articles, as Native American), editor and folklorist Brunvand, best known for his collections of urban legends (The Baby Train, LJ 2/1/93), has produced an excellent and understandable reference on American folklore. Brunvand asserts that his is the first attempt at an encyclopedia of American folklore from a serious academic slant, and from this reviewer's searches, he may be correct. Each article is signed, and the contributors' credentials are clearly stated at the beginning of the volume. All but a few entries are followed by cross references and a bibliography. Articles cover holidays, festivals, and rituals from Ground Hog Day to Passover; geographic areas; ethnic groups; types of folklore (from Jack tales to jazz); theories of folklore; folklore scholars; folklore characters from Jesse James to the Tooth Fairy; folk crafts, music, and dance; and the folklore of historical events as diverse as Juneteenth (the celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation) and the Gulf War. Highly recommended for all high school, public, and academic libraries.-Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh
A reference for scholars, students, and the general public on American folklore, which is defined here as North American folklore, including Canadian but excluding, except for a few general topics, the folklore of Native Americans (planned for coverage in its own encyclopedia). Some 500 articles encompass folk literature, music, and crafts of major and minor ethnic groups, urban and rural, traditional and contemporary traditions, as well as including entries for folklorists (those whose body of work is completed, i.e. nonliving), and scholarly terms and approaches. Some entries are brief descriptions; others are extensive essays. Each includes references and cross-references. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815333500
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: Reference Library of the Humanities Series, #1551
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 812
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Harold Brunvand, author of the standard text-book he Study of American Folklore, Third Edition (1986), is best known for his collections of urban legends, among them The Vanishing Hitchhiker (1981), he Choking Doberman (1984), and Curses' Broiled Again!(1989). He has been a syndicated columnist and has appeared on national television.

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Table of Contents

Selected Entries:
*Contemporary lore
*Gulf War
*Nuclear lore
*Gay and lesbian lore
*Talking trash
*Truckers' folklore
*UFO lore
*Semiotic approach
Traditional areas
*Johnny Appleseed
*Friday the 13th
*Jersey Devil
*Tooth fairy
*World War I and II
*Baltic people in U.S.
*Basque Americans
*Dutch Americans
*Korean Americans
*Polish Americans
*Burl Ives
*Blind Lemon Jefferson
*Hudie Leadbelly Ledbetter
*Memphis Minnie
*Ma Rainey
*Pete Seeger
*Muddy Waters
*Franz Boas
*Joseph Campbell
*Mary O. Eddy
*Aurelio Macedonia Espinosa
*Zora Neale Hurston
*George Lyman Kittredge
*Albert Bates Lord
*Milman Parry
*Charles M. Kinner
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