In one slim volume, editors Finkelman (The Encyclopedia of World Slavery) and Wallenstein (From Slave South to New South) provide a worthwhile reference tool for anyone interested in gaining a quick understanding of significant events, people, or concepts in U.S. political history. Organized alphabetically, the 225 entries vary in length from a few paragraphs to several pages. The book opens with a descriptive time line of political events and ends with an appendix of acronyms and abbreviations used in U.S. history. The writing is clear and will be accessible to readers with no background in the subject. This work meets its stated purpose--to be "a starting place for ready answers to immediate questions"--very well. Although other resources on U.S. political history are available, they tend to offer much more extensive treatment of a particular subject rather than a quick, easy-to-use overview. Recommended for all public and private libraries regardless of size. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Finkenstein (law, U. of Tulsa, Oklahoma) and Wallenstein (history, Virginia Polytechnic Institute) have assembled an accessible reference, suitable for any high school library, of 225 articles written by 75 academics and independent scholars of political history. The articles cover American presidents, aspects of the constitution, significant laws, political parties, the Civil War, the Cold War, and political movements, including careful treatment of civil rights issues with the notable exception of gay rights. A glossary of acronyms and abbreviations is also included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)