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From the Publisher"Each volume begins with an Alphabetical List of Entries, followed by an uncommon Guide to Related Topics, which groups the list of entries by subject area. There are several features worth noting, such as the Depression-era prices followed by their bloated modern-day equivalents. Graphs and tables are found throughout. Not just attractive sidebars, these tables are well thought out, original, and fascinating to browsers. In the entry for candy, for example, an unexpected table lists specific brands, their manufacturers, and years introduced, while another table for leisure & recreation indicates the numbers of different recreational areas (softball diamonds vs. baseball diamonds vs. bathing beaches, etc.) available by year. Keep in mind the popular-culture focus, for the content here does differ from what might be anticipated in a more traditional encyclopedia of the Great Depression….[t]his comprehensive, unusual set will accommodate larger public libraries and libraries invested in popular culture or social economics with its gems of information; recommended."
"The 200 entries of this two-volume encyclopedia provide a window into the popular culture of the United States during the Great Depression. Broadly speaking, the cross-referenced entries discuss art, architecture, aviation, comic books and strips, expositions and fairs, fads and games, food and drink, government and culture, literature, magazines, musicians and other individuals, newspapers, radio, social issues, sports, theater, travel, and youth culture. Examples of individual topics explored by the two-to-three page entries include Amos 'n' Andy, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, automobiles, contract bridge, Walt Disney, Flash Gordon, Judy Garland, Edward Hopper, Leisure and Recreation, the Lindbergh Kidnapping, the Marx Brothers, miniature golf, pulp magazines, Paul Robeson, Frank Sinatra, stamp collecting, Walter Winchell, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Each entry concludes with a guide to selected readings."
Reference & Research Book News
"[T]his is a fun, informative, and exuberant look at the America of the 1930s. It clearly delights in informing the reader of the joyful aspects of what was a dark time in U.S. history. The subject matter should appeal to a wide audience; the stated targets for this encyclopedia are high-school as well as college students. Complements historical treatments by focusing on pop-culture aspects of the great depression."
Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin
"This new encyclopedia is intended to fill an important niche as a comprehensive overview of the culture of the United States during the Great Depression. The set features a broad range of topics arranged alphabetically in well-written articles. The Guide to Related Topics thematically groups topics and would be useful for students attempting to narrow a broad subject field."
Library Media Connection
"This new encyclopedia treats cultural phenomena with an emphasis on the impact of the mass media, especially radio and the movies. Even when discussing political events or personalities, that emphasis is maintained. This reviewer, who grew up in the l930s, doesn't know of another work on that period which provides information on such a wide range of topics (some 200), ranging from the trivial, such as Miniature Golf, to the socially, politically, even historically significant, e.g., Race Relations and Stereotyping. The usefulness of the work is enhanced by its readability, by a thorough index, by cross-references between topics, by brief bibliographies after each topic (mostly three or four items), and by an unusual but helpful practice—particularly for a work about the 1930s—that notes modern equivalents whenever a monetary figure is cited….[t]his two-volume set certainly will be useful for students seeking information about aspects of life in the US during the Depression period. Recommended. Lower-/upper-level undergraduates and general readers."
"This is a worthy first source for anyone middle school age and higher doing research. The writing is clear and informative. The entries provide quality depth and range without trying to include every little detail. The many tables and charts of the collection are an excellent addition and illustrate a variety of information….This encyclopedia would be a good addition to any history reference collection."
American Reference Books Annual
"The Great Depression in America is a marvellous resource for students and others studying this interesting period of American history, particularly where there is a need to try and look at how individuals were affected at the time, or to try and visualise and experience their lives, including their social activities and interests. The book is absolutely brimming over with facts, and yet it is written in a pleasing and interesting style. It is neither totally academic in approach nor is it populist - it is an excellent read, the epitome of the hard to put down book."