This reference, which covers United States history, culture, people, and events in the nineteenth century, is formatted like the Encyclopedia Britannica's Macropaedia, with large subject headings giving detailed information and an overview of multiple topics. It is essential to work with all three volumes and the index because the same topic can be discussed in several places. For example, the history of voting legislation can be found in the section Voters and Voting but also in Law, Politics, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and Elections. Some see-also references lead to interesting places. A see-also suggestion at the end of Sports points to Saloons and the Drinking Life, which discusses saloons that offered pool or bowling to clients. Some index entries lead to little, such as the single Donner Party citation that leads only to mention of a PBS documentary on it in the Interpretations of the Nineteenth Century section. There is no main entry for pioneers, but articles on Trails to the West and Frontier, along with other information about the pioneers, are scattered through other sections. Often the problem in this resource is not the lack of information but discovering where the data can be found. The states have direct sections, but most state historical events are placed in other categories. The 1889 Johnstown, Pennsylvania, flood appears in the section on Disasters and not in the entry on Pennsylvania. Large religious organizations such as the Mormons and Quakers have their own headings, although Christianity only refers readers to many other topics. Some large sections seem to duplicate each other, such as Nature, and Geography and Ecology. The index is essential tosorting this information out. Some topics also seem to warrant a large section but do not have one. There is no section for authors or writers, but a huge section on literature mentions some prominent writers of the time, including Washington Irving and Sir Walter Scott. Willa Cather is mentioned only in the section on Homosexuality, whereas Mark Twain gets multiple mentions in all three volumes. There are no comprehensive lists of famous people in different categories, a common reference question, although the Systematic Outline of Contents at the end of the third volume breaks down the contents into key concepts. The student needs to know this breakdown to make use of the resource. This set will be useful for learning the details of period life. There are sections on men's and women's clothing, education, literature, dance, and women's roles. The first volume opens with a chronology of major events, and the endpapers of each volume are maps showing the United States from 1800 to 1900. Photographs and illustrations also are interspersed throughout the text. Brief bibliographies after major entries give anywhere from four to sixteen additional reading titles on the topic, ranging from works published in the 1970s to 1990s. The articles are interesting and well written, leading the student on to other topics and further research. Purchase this set where an additional resource for high school or larger libraries is needed to serve American history students. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix. 2001, Gale, 1,705p. in 3 vols. PLB Ages 15 to Adult. Reviewer: Hillary Theyer SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Unique in its attempt to examine in a single volume all aspects of the United States in the rapidly developing 19th century, this work serves as a valuable introduction to the complexity and significance of this pivotal period. Compiled by an editorial board headed by Finkelman (law, Univ. of Tulsa; The Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery, LJ 1/99), it offers 600 fascinating articles written by scholars, with bibliographic references, numerous useful maps and illustrations, a day-by-day chronology, and an extensive index. The articles vary in length from a few hundred words to much longer essays on such comprehensive topics as "Reconstruction" and the "Supreme Court." The articles cover topics of traditional historic interest, such as economics, law, and government, but also those in the new social history. Its currentness, scholarship, and inclusion of topics covered in National Standards for United States History make this work a welcome addition to the reference sections of larger public, high school, and academic libraries, even those already owning the less specific Encyclopedia of American History (HarperCollins, 1996). Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This three-volume reference surveys all aspects of 19th-century America with a wide-ranging and authoritative selection of articles covering the people and their lives, the frontier and Native Americans, expansion, immigration, slavery and sectional conflict, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, industrialization, and the American empire. The 600 signed articles are arranged alphabetically and explore all aspects of the century<-->history, population, politics and government, economy and work, society and culture, religion, social problems and reform, everyday life, and foreign policy. From civil rights to military technology, and from the women's movement to labor laws, they show how the changes and innovations that came to fruition in the 20th century have deep historical roots. The set contains 400 b&w illustrations (drawings, political cartoons, reproductions of etchings and paintings, and photographs), 30 maps, and a year-by-year chronology. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)