Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This two-volume reference work examines 101 different ethnic groups in the United States, ranging from migrant groups to certain distinct religions. Selection was based on population size or the unique importance of the group. Generally ten to 20 pages long, the signed original articles by recognized scholars contain a general history of the group, a description of the area or country of origin, and an examination of a variety of different aspects of the group's experience in the United States. The entries are excellent summary articles that also include handbook-type information such as addresses of organizations and a few additional sources for consultation. This set is similar in scope and quality to the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1980), though it is more up-to-date. Of value to public, some larger school, and academic libraries.-Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah
Zom Zoms
Gale has come up with another winner for school and public libraries, an encyclopedia covering 101 ethnic groups. Most essays focus on immigrants from a particular country (Irish Americans, Australian Americans). Three religious groups (Amish, Jews, Mormons) and 13 Native American groups (Hawaiians, Tlingit, Apache, etc.) are treated. There are also entries for Chaldeans, Creoles, Gypsies, and other ethnic groups not associated with one particular country. African Americans are treated as a group; there is also an entry for Nigerian Americans, who have emigrated in this century. Both nations with large representation in the U.S. (Mexico, China) and small communities (Samoa, Barbados) are treated The entries are arranged alphabetically in two consecutively paged volumes. Each essay is 5,000 to 20,000 words in length and includes black-and-white photographs, usually of people in native dress or at some traditional activity. The information for each ethnic group includes a brief history of the country of origin, immigration statistics and a history of migration to America, and information on traditions and customs, language, religion, political involvement, and employment. Some entries stress life in the U.S. (Cuban Americans); others emphasize life in the native country (Argentine Americans). Brief biographies of immigrants who have made a contribution to American society are followed by lists of newspapers and radio and TV stations serving the group, organizations, museums and research centers, and a brief bibliography. None of these lists mention the Temple-Balch Institute for Immigration Research, an important archive for immigration records. The articles are signed; the 35 contributors include librarians, professors, and freelance writers. Some seem to have ancestral connections to the ethnic group about which they wrote. There is a general bibliography in volume 2 and an extensive index. An appendix with statistics in chart form would have been helpful, as would have maps "The Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups" (1980) covers 106 groups, including many, such as Afghans, Alsatians, Bangladeshis, Basques, Bosnian Muslims, Kurds, and Germans from Russia, who aren't in the "Gale Encyclopedia". It also has better bibliographies, statistical tables, and thematic essays. However, for groups such as the Hmong, Guatemalans, and Haitians that arrived in large numbers in the past 15 years, the "Gale Encyclopedia" will have to be consulted. The articles in the Gale work are also more accessible. "We the People: An Atlas of America's Ethnic Diversity" (Macmillan, 1988) has excellent maps showing the distribution of ethnic groups in the U.S. Marshall Cavendish's six-volume "Encyclopedia of Multiculturalism" ["RBB" My 1 94] has biographies of members of various ethnic groups and entries on historical topics, as well as articles on ethnic groups. "The Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America" does an excellent job of describing how ethnic groups function in American society and will be valuable in most high-school and public libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810391642
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Pages: 2

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