In this unique encyclopedia, the editors do not attempt to cover or revise the social history topics treated in their complementary works on American history and life, especially the Encyclopedia of American Social History (LJ 6/1/93), an LJ Best Reference. Containing 221 essays, this encyclopedia includes a remarkable range of entries, including "Africa and America," "Jews," "Monuments and Memorials," "Architecture," "New York City," "Literary Reviews and Little Magazines," and "Libraries," to name only a few. The editors explain that these eclectic essays fit into their broad definitions of both intellectual and cultural history. Each essay concludes with a bibliography listing both primary and secondary sources, and most include sidebars and/or illustrations. A chronology lists contemporaneous historical events as well as the cultural and intellectual accomplishments of that year or decade. An excellent introductory essay notes that even though many contributors a diverse group of academics and independent scholars may have demonstrated their own political or cultural biases, the essays still aim to be "fair and complete enough" to offer accurate representations of opposing viewpoints. A random sampling of essays confirms their intentions. Finally, a subject, name, and title index in the last volume provides easy access to the contents. This work is highly recommended for students and researchers seeking an overview of major issues in American cultural and intellectual history. Libraries possessing earlier Scribner encyclopedias in this area should also obtain this set. The steep price, however, may limit purchase to large public and academic libraries. Donald Altschiller, Boston Univ. Libs. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Aimed at students high school level and above, this three-volume set contains 221 essays arranged in eight chronological sections spanning early America to the Reagan era and somewhat beyond. Themes include the following: cultural groups, geography and cultural centers, urban centers, nature and the supernatural, political concepts, economics, social order and identity, the pursuit and exchange of knowledge, the arts and cultural expression, and finally, methods and concepts of history<-->a section addressing intellectual constructs such as the history of ideas, biography, Marxist approaches, cultural studies, the social construction of reality, and Weberian approaches. The set features a lengthy (50 pages) but necessarily somewhat superficial chronology of political and cultural events, an alphabetical table of contents, and respectable bibliographies following each essay. Most of the 100 contributors are professors of history. Occasional b&w illustrations are included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)