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We cannot understand the United States in the twentieth century, the century of the child, without understanding the prominent part that children and adolescents have played in the American story. Much has changed for young people during this century and this is the first work to illuminate those developments from the turn of the century to today. Rich in detail, this work tells the story, often through the words of children themselves, of young people not only as part of the broader changes that have swept American life but as initiators of change in our everyday life, work and play, institutions and values. No other book has done this.
As a reference tool the work is divided into four chronological chapters, 1900-1920, 1921-1940, 1941-1960, and 1960 to the present. Each chapter contains six sections, At Home, At Play, At Work, At School, Health, and Children and the Law. From the teddy bear to the Barbie doll; from child labor in sweatshops to teenage workers in McDonald's; from the one-room schoolhouse to the SATS, from childhood scourges to the eradication of many childhood diseases, each chapter offers copious detail and fascinating narrative about children's lives. The reader can learn about all the topics in a particular era or focus on one topic and follow it through the decades. The many tables and statistics will aid the reader and researcher. Each chapter concludes with a narrative bibliography of recommended works of interest on the topics discussed. A selection of photos complements the text. This work will be invaluable to social studies and American history classes and teachers, high school and public libraries, and students of American social history.