In updating his Encyclopedia of the Presidents, Rubel presents us with less a collective biography of the 43 leaders of our country than a survey of American history focusing on the political struggle that takes place every four years. Each page of the book represents a year in that history. Basic information is given for each president, as is one interesting bit of trivia and a very brief discussion of his early life, Whereas the main text concentrates on the president and national concerns, sidebars offer snapshots of the popular culture of the time: inventions, personalities, entertainment, fads. Many years also include a faked newspaper headline of a real historic event. These are not actual primary sources-something students may need to be alerted to. Each presidential campaign, including candidates and issues, is also described succinctly. Only five pages have changed significantly since the 1997 edition, but these pages include Clinton's impeachment (dealing delicately but honestly with the scandal), Columbine, Y2K, genetic research, the contested 2000 election, and "W" Bush. Appendices include a table of presidential elections and a history of the White House. Many well-chosen illustrations appear throughout. If you have the only 1994 edition, definitely update! If you have the 1997 edition, add the 2001 edition to your reference shelf. Recommended.
-Library Talk, November/December 2001
1997 Revised Edition:
The revision of the 1994 volume presents new information and a plethora of pertinent changes. This user-friendly resource, which lucidly examines the political and personal lives of the U.S. Presidents, and the headlines, historical movements, and personalities, etc., that shaped their administrations, has a broader scope. Coverage begins with George Washington and ends with the commencement of Bill Clinton's second term. . . . An engagingly written section presents an overview of the White House. Charts, tables, and maps are updated, and the index has been expanded. Small black-and-white photos and reproductions add interest. A handsome new cover design completes the package.
-School Library Journal
This encyclopedia is organized chronologically, beginning in 1789 with George Washington and and ending in 1994 with President Bill Clinton. Entries vary from one page for William Henry Harrison to 12 for FDR, reflecting the length of the President's term. If students want to ascertain who was president during a particular year, they need only to turn the page for that year and find the name. The book incorporates the life of each president as part of the larger story of the U.S. Major events that ocurred during each president's tenure are noted, as well as important people from that particular period of time.
Each entry includes the president's birth date and place, death, party, vice president, family-member names, and nickname. A four-page chart of presidential election results is found at the end of the book. It includes the president and vice president, term, election year, candidates, popular and electoral votes, and president's birthplace. Throughout the book certain words are highlighted in red, indicating that the subject is discussed in greater detail in another section of the book. Using the subject index at the end of the book, a student can find an entry for the more detailed discussion, which is also highlighted. Black-and-white photographs of events and people, political cartoons, articles reflecting the period in history, as well as maps detailing the growth of our country can be found throughout the book.
This is an attractive, inexpensive resource for elementary school students, providing concise information in an easy-to-read format. It is recommended for the children's section of public libraries and elementary school media centers that lack the financial r