The Penguin Dictionary of American Folklore

Overview

The Penguin Dictionary of American Folklore is a comprehensive, highly readable, encyclopedic dictionary that will appeal to a broad range of students of American literature, history, and cultural studies as well as to general readers, from teenagers to centenarians, who wish to ramble down the highways and byways of our country's immensely varied folk traditions. With more than 750 entries and 228 photographs and line drawings, this is at once a stimulating companion and an authoritative reference to American ...
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Illustrated E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A. 2001 Trade Paperback First Edition New 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. Trade paperback, 527 pp. With more than 750 entries and over 225 ... photographs and line drawings. New condition. Read more Show Less

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Illustrated E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A. 2001 Trade Paperback First Edition New 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. Trade paperback, 527 pp. With more than 750 entries and over 225 ... photographs and line drawings. New condition. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Penguin Dictionary of American Folklore is a comprehensive, highly readable, encyclopedic dictionary that will appeal to a broad range of students of American literature, history, and cultural studies as well as to general readers, from teenagers to centenarians, who wish to ramble down the highways and byways of our country's immensely varied folk traditions. With more than 750 entries and 228 photographs and line drawings, this is at once a stimulating companion and an authoritative reference to American folklore.. "Entries range in length from brief definitions and descriptions of terms and objects, such as animal tale, autoharp, memory painting, and rabbit's foot, to essays, complete with lists of additional reading, on the principal American folklore genres, on the heroes of American folklore, and on the leading writers, poets, composers, musicians, dancers, painters, and other fashioners, transmitters, and scholars of folklore.. "From The Alamo, alien abductions, and Gene Autry to Bigfoot, The Blues, and Buffalo Bill, to Yankee Doodle, Yiddishisms, and Zydeco (the name of the music comes from a Cajun song), it's all here - the folklore of different regions, groups, and occupations (Appalachian folklore, Italian American folklore, lumberjack folklore, military folklore, Native American folklore, urban legends); the singers and their songs (Joan Baez, Blue Tail Fly, Burl Ives, Frankie and Johnnie, Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, Elvis Presley); the scholars and the collectors (Ruth Benedict, Richard Dorson, John and Alan Lomax, Louise Pound), and so much more - all in one absorbing, immensely valuable reference.
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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Over 750 entries describe aspects of American folklore, ranging from the contributions of various cultures to the scholars in the field to artists, musicians, writers and poets who added to the mix of folk traditions. In the lively and informative introduction, Axelrod and Oster provide an overview of the study of American folklore as well as their criteria for the book. The well-written entries are clear, interesting and thoughtful, packed with suggested reading and see references as well as photographs and drawings which extend and further enliven the text. That Axelrod and Oster clearly love their topic is plain, which adds to the accessibility of the book. The impulse to read this title from A to Z is irresistible, matched only by the impulse to follow the see references back and forth. The appealing paperback format makes multiple purchasing, both for reference and circulation, not only possible but highly recommended as well. Category: Literature & Language Arts. KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Penguin, 527p. illus. bibliogs., $18.00. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Donna L. Scanlon; Children's Libn., Lancaster Area Lib., Lancaster, SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
Library Journal
This extraordinarily entertaining if finally somewhat limited volume is a winsome overview of themes common to American folklore, tradition, and popular culture, particularly those covered in folklore studies. It consists of 750 entries and over 200 black-and-white illustrations. Entries vary from brief definitions to full essays. Folklore, heroes, common phrases, folk speech, regional and professional lore, and music are included. See Also references and a brief listing of suggested readings accompany most entries. The coverage is uneven, however: major topics such as "line dancing" are given 56 words, while the Empire State Building (folklore?) gets a full page of text; "Primitive Art" is covered in 50 words, but Elvis Presley gets one and a half pages. While the book's scope is impressive and intriguing and the writing avoids the dead hand of academic jargon, it is less than exhaustive and is ultimately unsuccessful as a standard reference. Other publications, such as Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folkore, Mythology and Legend (1984) as well as John Brunvand's American Folklore (1996) are more focused and complete. Nevertheless, the absorbing, readable panorama this provides makes it an engrossing selection for all readers. Recommended for general collections.--Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141002408
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/1/1901
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.56 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.18 (d)

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