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Main page » Dictionaries and Encyclopedias » Encyclopedia of American History (11 volume set)

Encyclopedia of American History (11 volume set)


With its release in 2003, the Encyclopedia of American History relegated many similar titles to the realm of obsolescence. Drawing on a wealth of current scholarly study, this revision not only contains new entries for the years since 2003 (the entry for Barack Obama, for example) but, with several hundred additional entries and revisions, provides significant updates and expansion to the entire set. Almost one-third of the more than 3,300 entries are new or revised. The arrangement follows the chronological divisions of U.S. history set out in the National Standards for United States History, Revised Edition. Once again under the general editorship of Nash, each volume is individually edited by a prominent scholar in the field. Beginning with the first volume, Three Worlds Meet: Beginnings to 1603, and concluding with Contemporary United States: 1969 to the Present, each volume comprises signed A–Z entries covering noteworthy people, places, and events as well as general topics such as crime, immigration, religion, and trade. Each entry contains see also terms in all caps that guide readers from one topic to the next and concludes with a few noteworthy sources for further reading. At the conclusion of each volume are a valuable chronology and a selection of the era's critical documents (for example, the Declaration of Independence, the Atlantic Charter of 1941, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990) as well as a concise bibliography representing the current historiography. New to the current edition are the more than 250 excellent full-color maps inserted in each volume and conveying demographic, elections, expansion, and military information. These maps are richly detailed, contain clear legends, and are pertinent to the era covered. Although this work is short on illustrations, its strengths are its arrangement and lucid writing, which is intended to provide a solid edifice of historical knowledge “for precollegiate as well as college students, for parents of young learners in the schools, and for the general public.” In addition to an index at the end of each volume, volume 11 consists of a cumulative index that allows users to follow the development of particular themes in U.S. history. Although the price of the set could be prohibitive, libraries looking to enhance their U.S. history collections will find no greater overall value. Through an effective presentation of the core themes from American politics, culture, and society, this is definitely the single best general American history reference source on the market today. Highly recommended for high-school, public, and college libraries.

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Tags: Encyclopedia, History, volume, American, 0816071365, entries