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School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
Primary Sources is a collection of 18 documents from excerpts of writings by Andrew Carnegie and Ida B. Wells to illustrations of Gibson Girls by Charles Dana Gibson and mail-order homes advertised in the Sears, Roebuck catalog. The entry on the sinking of the Titanic is typical: it includes an introduction; an eyewitness account of the event; a report of the aftermath of the wreck and its historical significance; and sidebars on the 1997 movie and Molly Brown. The article closes with topics to consider. Biographies presents 25 key figures from the era. There is a good mix of political persons, cultural icons, and authors. Almanac is a chronological overview of the important issues of the period. Westward expansion, progressivism, the labor movement, and the immigrant experience are covered in depth; sidebars spotlight key figures and specific events. All the volumes open with a solid introductory essay and include a useful time line and glossary. Each entry and volume ends with a list of further reading and a volume-specific index. The black-and-white illustrations add interest and information. Gilded Age compares favorably to John D. Buenker and Joseph Buenker's Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (Sharpe Reference, 2005), which takes an alphabetical approach to the era, mixing historical events and biographies. The UXL set holds more value for younger researchers.
—Elizabeth M. ReardonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.