A dictionary of American history

Main Author: Purvis, Thomas L., 1949-
Corporate Author: EBSCOhost books.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge, Mass. : Blackwell, 1997.
Edition: [Pbk. rpt. ed., 1997].
Series: Blackwell reference.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

This dictionary fulfills the goal of its compiler, a professional historian, to provide succinct entries for all phases of American history. It succeeds best in covering political and military history, court decisions, Indian tribes, and treaties, and is strong in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although this emphasis leaves less space for literary and social history, entries covering these areas are excellent. The selective biographical entries reflect primarily the Anglo-European aspects of US history with many fewer from other influences. Especially useful entries deal with immigration from individual countries, e.g., Sweden. The individual entries balance relevant facts and context. Puzzling inclusion patterns result in well-done entries for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt, while other first ladies are not even mentioned in entries for their husbands. The next edition will be strengthened if it includes similarly well-done information selected from a broader and more diverse view of American history. Recommended for ready reference in academic collections as a companion to standard references in the same discipline. H. H. Ives American University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

This is part of an eight-volume set from Oxford titled The New Encyclopedia of Science. Previously published volumes include Matter and Energy (1994), Animal Life (1995), Chemistry in Action (1995), and Stars and Atoms (1995). This winter the three remaining volumes will be published: Computing, Ecology and Environment, and Genetics and Evolution. Each volume in the series can be used independently. Cattermole, the author of this volume, is a professor at the University of Sheffield and has written numerous books for both scholars and the general public on planetary geology. Recently he has written scholarly works on Mars and Venus and coauthored a children's book on the Red Planet. The intended audience for this set is students ages 14 and up and adults. All the oversize volumes in the series are uniformly organized. Several pages are devoted to a "Knowledge Map" and a "Timechart." On the "Knowledge Map," circles are used to represent the various fields of geology. Intersection among the circles demonstrates the interrelationships among scientific fields. The "Timechart" covers early to modern times and is supplemented by a narrative. About 32 pages are then devoted to a dictionary of 400 key words. Many of the entries have color illustrations and references to related thematic chapters in the text. The bulk of the volume is taken up with text covering 48 topics, including "Cosmic Ingredients," "Planets and Their Orbits," "The Planets Heat Up," "Volcanoes," "Wandering Continents," "The Work of Rivers," and "Man Leaves Earth." Within each topic, boxes highlight key words. Throughout the volume are approximately 200 attractive color photographs and illustrations appropriately placed in the text. A 10-page "Factfile," intended for ready reference, includes listings of conversion factors, the solar system, major moons of the planets, space probes, geologic eras, and earthquake scales. These lists are current, noting events as recent as 1994. Following the "Factfile" is a 46-item bibliography, with most titles being recently published. Assisting users is an index that cites illustrations, the "Timechart," the "Factfile," and text. This is a unique work. The few similar titles are dated and thus do not compare favorably. The currency and excellent design of this book will make it a useful addition to science collections. Middle-and high-school, public, and academic libraries should consider adding circulating and reference copies of Earth and the Other Planets to their collections. (Reviewed December 1, 1995)

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.