Library Journal - Library JournalThis examination of 278 individuals significant to American history is a ready reference dream come true. Each entry contains a chronology; activities of historical significance; overviews of general, principal, and primary sources; comments on fictions and adaptations of the life; notes on museums; and other sources. This can be used to answer reference questions, for reader's advisory, interlibrary loan, or as an ordering tool. The accuracy and balance of the subject matter is admirable; only the entry on Thomas Edison is riddled with errors. Binding, typography, and layout are excellent. The only recent comparable set is Great Lives from History: American Series ( LJ 6/1/87), which contains twice as many entries, but which is less analytical and is narrower in bibliographic coverage. For the wealth of detail and the diversity of application, this would be a fine purchase for most libraries.-- James Moffet, Baldwin P.L., Birmingham, Mich.
BooknewsDesigned to facilitate research (for secondary school and undergraduate term papers as well as students not well versed) in all areas of American history. Covers 278 Americans prominent in history. Each entry provides a synopsis of major events in the subject's life; activities of historical significance; overview of biographical sources (any difficulties that the subject's biographers have encountered and comments on changes in scholarly opionion that have occurred over the years); evaluation of principal biographical sources (an annotated bibliography that evaluates the most important secondary sources for content, readability, and accuracy); evaluation of biographies for young people (a separate listing of biographies written for a young audience); overview and evaluation of primary sources (autobiographical works by the subject, memoirs, documents, and manuscript collections); fiction and adaptations (novels, films, plays, or other creative interpretations of the subject's activities); museums, historical landmarks, societies; and other sources; a bibliography of journal and encyclopedia articles, monographs, and works). Works cited in the evaluation of sources and in the overview indicate whether the work is most appropriate for an academic, general, or young audience. Set uses the same format as the Research guide to biography and criticism. Index in Vol.III only. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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