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Though this set has the heft of a reference series, it works best in a circulating collection. It is not an encyclopedia but rather an insightful and eclectic compilation of essays by noted scholars and writers. Buhle's (history & American civilization, Brown Univ.; Popular Culture in America; Encyclopedia of the American Left) work cannot be called comprehensive; for instance, the volume on sports covers baseball, basketball, boxing, and the Olympics but not football. The essays are either overviews (e.g., "Television Drama of the Golden Age") or very creative points of entry into a larger topic (e.g., "Making a Scene: Jews, Stooges, and Censors in Pre-War Hollywood"). There are many unusual but telling meditations on popular culture in this expansive series (e.g., "The Jew and the Nose: Plastic Surgery and Popular Culture" written by Beth Aviva Preminger, a plastic surgeon). One of the strong points of the series is that each entry has a list for further reading. There are some useful illustrations, though they are limited. The lay reader will enjoy a browse through, but scholars and students will benefit the most. Libraries with strong American Jewish studies collections should definitely have this set. Academic institutions and large public libraries should consider.