Review by Choice Review
Finkelman (Univ. of Tulsa) and Wallenstein (Univ. of Vermont) supply an excellent complement to the most recent major comparable work, Encyclopedia of American Political History, ed. by Jack. P. Greene (3v., CH, May'85). Entries are concise, readable, and informative, even though written by academics and independent scholars. A bibliography ends each entry. Unlike Greene, this volume includes essays on all US presidents. It also has an excellent essay on think tanks, which strongly influence public policy. Historical photographs and editorial cartoons accompany some entries. The foreword includes a descriptive time line of political events in US history, divided into eras, such as "Jackson Era," "First New Deal," and "New Frontier and Great Society." The appendix features a list of acronyms and abbreviations used by writers and scholars, where one learns that "NRA" stands for National Recovery Act (a New Deal program) as well as National Rifle Association. An excellent starting point for scholars, students, and general readers; recommended for all libraries. M. Shores University of Arkansas at Monticello
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
This encyclopedia embodies the quality that reference librarians have come to expect from CQ Press. More than 240 signed articles by prominent scholars address the people, organizations, parties, political movements, statutes, and events that have shaped American political history. Coverage begins with events leading up to the American Revolution and continues through the Clinton-era scandals. Current developments are reflected in many of the articles: Social Security, for example, discusses proposals to invest a portion of the fund in the stock market; Reform Party discusses friction between Jesse Ventura and Ross Perot. Articles range from less than a column in length (Cloture; Harrison, William Henry; Liberty Party) to five pages (Democratic Party; Treaties: Peace, Armament, and Defense). They clearly define and describe the subject and its importance to the nation's political history. Entries focus almost exclusively on the political aspects of the topic, but bibliographies at the end of each article lead interested readers to additional sources for in-depth research. Cross-referencing is comprehensive, and photographs and cartoons add visual interest. A descriptive time line of political events in U.S. history and an appendix of acronyms and abbreviations complete the volume. The editors have ensured a consistent level of quality throughout the work and a writing style that makes it accessible to readers beginning at the high-school level. As stated in the introduction, teachers will find this volume useful in preparing lessons relating to the National Standards for United States History. Students will find it a helpful supplement to course texts, and researchers at all levels will find it a good starting point.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.