Dictionary of American History

Overview

This 2003 edition contains 4,400 articles, 1,200 photos, and 252 maps and includes 8,940 new topics and 1,400 rewritten articles. These cross-listed and newly-illustrated entries of 100-8,000 words are aimed at college students and reach into the future with a 1500-word essay on "9/11." Volume nine, a wonderful addition, contains archival maps and primary documents (with introductions) such as the anonymous story (c. 1745) of the league of five nations (Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas); an excerpt ...
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Overview

This 2003 edition contains 4,400 articles, 1,200 photos, and 252 maps and includes 8,940 new topics and 1,400 rewritten articles. These cross-listed and newly-illustrated entries of 100-8,000 words are aimed at college students and reach into the future with a 1500-word essay on "9/11." Volume nine, a wonderful addition, contains archival maps and primary documents (with introductions) such as the anonymous story (c. 1745) of the league of five nations (Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas); an excerpt from Francis Grund's Americans in their Moral, Social, and Political Relations (1837); and Henry Ford's "Advice to the Unemployed in the Great Depression" (1932). Volume nine's other distinctive feature is a division of the Dictionary into chronological chunks that correlate entries, maps, and documents with relevant chapters in three Wadsworth textbooks: American Passages (2000), The American Past (2001); and Liberty, Equality, Power (2002). A six-page guide provides tips on historical research. The over 2000 contributors are from American academies. One caution: the dictionary does not contain biographical entries. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

"The third edition of this classic and indispensable work, first published in 1940 and last revised in 1976, has been updated completely for a new generation of students and scholars. Recognizing that the ways in which history is understood and interpreted have changed drastically over the past six decades, the editors have revised 448 articles, replaced 1,360 articles, and added 841 new entries. Gender, race, and social-history perspectives have been added to many entries for the first time. In another departure from the earlier editions, the editors have added maps and illustrations throughout the text, providing helpful visual cues to readers. No library should be without these new volumes."--"The Best of the Best Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2003.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
References such as the 1965 Encyclopaedia Brittanica or Scribner's Bicentennial-era Dictionary of American History (2d ed.) have inspired loyal readership for decades after their publication. Now in its third edition, the Scribner dictionary continues to grow, expanding from the six-volume first edition (1940) to the eight-volume second (1976) to a full ten. (Volume 9 consists entirely of original documents and period maps, while Volume 10 is an index.) The new set is 20 percent larger than the 1976 version, is illustrated for the first time with some 1200 photos and 252 maps, and employs more cross-referencing. But for those who cherished the second edition for its fluent writing and factual impeccability, the important question is whether the content has changed. For one thing, there are fewer articles (4,434 vs. 6,425 in the second edition), but many original entries have either been consolidated with others under different headings or, if they were pulled, been archived elsewhere. (Readers who bristle at the removal of a 1940 account of the Raisin River Massacre can find it and many other deleted original entries at Gale Group's History Resource Center online.) The revision was begun in 1996, and the resulting work still offers excellent overviews of the history of abortion, assassinations, the Ashcan School, urbanization, and American Presidential elections; new categories include such modern topics as "Transplants and Organ Donation," "Kwanza," "DVD," and "World Trade Center." One can read a superb essay by Mark T. Berger on the UN's changing place in the world or Carol F. Karlsen's survey of witchcraft, which bravely begins, "No general agreement seems to have been reached in the United States on what witchcraft is, or was, or might be." The essays are all signed by area experts; when an essay from earlier editions has been revised to reflect new scholarship, it is signed by both authors. While reflecting an expansion in the idea of what and who history now includes, this venerable work has been respectfully updated by editor Kutler (emeritus, Univ. of Wisconsin Law Sch.; The Wars of Watergate) and his team. Combining accuracy with literary verve, this new edition is very much in the spirit of its superb predecessors and is highly recommended for libraries needing a solid American history reference.-Nathan Ward, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-This updated version of a standard reference tool is a vast improvement over the 1976 edition. The set is now illustrated with more than 1200 black-and-white photos and 250 maps. Equal attention is given to America's diverse population and various socioeconomic classes. The volume of period maps and primary-source documents is completely new, while the index volume now includes a somewhat brief and underdeveloped guide to historical writing. Throughout, the entries include specifically American topics as well as broader subjects as they apply to the U.S. Examples of current topics considered include bioethics, genetic engineering, the Hanssen espionage case, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, organic farming, and ozone depletion. The entries vary considerably in thoroughness and accessibility. Some contain inaccuracies; most assume prior knowledge of the topic. In an unfortunate inconsistency in a dictionary, not all entries begin with, or include, a clear definition of the subject. The maps are disappointing: they are interspersed with a scholarly discussion of U.S. history; less than half are a full page, and many are dark and hard to decipher; references to color coding are meaningless; and, except for a section on New York City, they end (for no apparent reason) with the Civil War. Standard encyclopedias cover most of Dictionary's general topics adequately for this audience, and have far more charts, graphs, and other visuals.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684805337
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 5500
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 14.25 (w) x 19.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

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