Gale complements its "American Decades" series (e.g., American Decades, 1900-1909, LJ 6/15/96) by launching a companion set covering the story of America from prehistory to 1900. The current volume deals with the Gilded Age of late 19th-century American industrialization, the mass immigration of peoples from southern and eastern Europe, and the rise of the consumer society. Its 11 chapters, each written by scholars, cover world events, the arts, business, communications, government, law, social trends, religion, science, and sports. Each chapter opens with a chronology, followed by an essay on major persons, trends, and events. Next are short articles highlighting specific subjects interspersed with shorter pieces focusing on such topics as the banjo, the typewriter, the development of high schools, the Dalton Gang, the Gibson Girl, and the indoor bathroom. The chapters close with biographies of individuals who significantly influenced the period. The work as a whole opens with a broad historical essay, closes with subject and photograph indexes, and features illustrations, maps, and bibliographies throughout. As with its predecessors, little new material appears in this work. However, it does prove to be a convenient, easy-to-use resource on an interesting period of American history. Junior high school, high school, and public libraries will find this useful.Stephen L. Hupp, Univ. of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Pa.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up--Excesses and extremes--from the very wealthy to the very poor--is how the years from 1878 to 1899 have been described, and this resource, devoted exclusively to this era of history, makes that point clear. The book is divided into 11 chapters: world events; the arts; business and the economy; communication; education; government and politics; law and justice; lifestyles, social trends, and fashion; religion; science and medicine; and sports and recreation. The first chapter is a year-by-year chronology that lists important political, cultural, and scientific occurrences outside of the United States. Major powers and leaders, major conflicts, and new nations are summarized for quick reference. The rest of the chapters focus on the U.S. Each one opens with a chronology of events within the specific subject area, and includes an overview essay, a summary of topics in the news ("Founding the Metropolitan Opera," "The Department Store," "Expanding Educational Opportunities for the Masses," "The Lizzie Borden Case," etc.), a section on famous figures, and an annotated list of important works published during the era. Gray inset boxes offer interesting sidebars ("The Gibson Girl," "The Dalton Gang," etc.). Black-and-white photographs and reproductions appear throughout. A list of general references by subject, a helpful index, and an index of photographs are appended. Filled with useful information and interesting trivia, this book is fun to read and detailed enough for serious research.--Marsha S. Holden, Lincolnwood Public Library, IL