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Encyclopedia of American social movements /

Corporate Author: Sharpe Online Reference.
Other Authors: Ness, Immanuel.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Armonk, NY : Sharpe Reference, 2004
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Review by Choice Review

The first major reference work that seeks to examine social movements in all their complexity, power, and significance, this set expands history by giving voice to the struggles of ordinary people. Striving for comprehensiveness, authority, and balance, the section editors examine each movement in its entirety. The set's introduction is particularly useful in defining social movements--their aims, goals, and successes, and their ability to spawn offshoots. Sixteen sections, edited by experts, cover major social movements in American history. Sections begin with an introductions to movements (e.g., Antislavery Movement, Native American Movement) and supply entries that cover each movement's critical themes and key leaders. Excerpts from primary documents (Frederick Douglass's "The Rights of Women") flesh out entries and provide easy access for readers. Entries are arranged by a rough chronology in each section, are written by scholars, and analyze a movement's goals, tactics, membership, and outcomes. Since many movements overlap, entries explore the interrelationship between the groups. Intending to provide a broad, engaging overview of American history, the set is not confined to movements of the Left but includes conservative, progressive, and antivice movements. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Academic libraries. R. Tolley-Stokes East Tennessee State University

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

This is the first major reference work to convey social conflicts in U.S. history that mainstream accounts usually gloss over--the struggles waged by ordinary people against power. The 152 contributors are mainly from American universities, and the editor is at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. The encyclopedia is organized according to 16 movements, among them the antislavery, civil rights, women's, labor, and environmental movements. After an introductory overview, each section contains from 5 to more than 30 articles that correspond to time periods (e.g., Religious Movements, 1730s-1830s in the chapter Religious, Utopian, and Health Movements ) or subject (for example, Eugenics Movement and Prohibition and Repeal in the chapter Moral Reform Movements ). The writing is lively, accurate, and balanced. As a result of interrelationships in the movements, and probably the plan of organization for the work, there is some duplication. A history of the Knights of Labor can be found in both the Knights of Labor and the Labor Movement, 1877-1919 sections of the Labor Movement chapter. As with any reference work, readers may quibble about some editorial decisions. For example, the only individual woman who is given full-article treatment in the Women's Movement chapter is Matilda Joslyn Gage. African American and Latino mutual aid societies are described but not ones begun by European or Asian immigrants. A bibliography at the end of each of the articles and a 54-page bibliography at the end of the work direct users to further resources. Each volume has cumulative general and biographical indexes. Photos appear in most articles, as do sidebars that generally highlight a prominent person or a pertinent document. The work is current, including, for example, a June 2003 decision by the Supreme Court. Some similar information can be found scattered across other works, but this title provides a unique context and will fill a need for easily accessible information in public and academic libraries. --Arthur Meyers Copyright 2005 Booklist

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

Aiming to be "comprehensive, authoritative and balanced," Ness (Encyclopedia of American Immigration) has compiled an extensive history of many major American social movements, including civil rights, labor, anti-war, environmental, gay/lesbian, and women's liberation. The essays are not organized in any special order; the longest surveys the civil rights movement from its antislavery beginnings, filling much of the first volume. Each essay concludes with a bibliography and each volume includes a general index that references the text of the entire set. Easy-to-read typeface, black-and-white illustrations, an extensive concluding bibliography, and informative sidebars enhance the work's readability and reference value. It will prove most useful for hard-to-find information on lesser-known movements such as anti-drug; appropriate technology; disabilities; bisexual; and transgender activism. The major social movements are already covered extensively in subject encyclopedias and numerous monographs. Important material not included here can be found in Neil A. Hamilton's Rebels and Renegades: A Chronology of Social and Political Dissent in the United States, which contains a useful timeline, and Biographical Dictionary of American Labor, which offers numerous profiles. Bottom Line Although it neglects or only briefly mentions Jewish student activism and Catholic liberal and conservative political organizations, (Nativist, anti-Jewish, and anti- Catholic movements, however, are covered.), this work offers students and researchers much useful and easily accessible material.-Donald Altschiller, Boston Univ. Libs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.