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St. James encyclopedia of popular culture

Corporate Author: Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Other Authors: Pendergast, Tom., Pendergast, Sara.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Farmington Hills, MI : St. James Press, 1999
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Online Access: Search online version
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Review by Library Journal Review

This encyclopedia focuses on American popular culture, examining the post- World War II era in over 2700 alphabetical essays in the following broad categories: film, music, print culture, social life, sports, television and radio, and art and performance. It contains both descriptive essays (75-150 words) and more in-depth essays (up to 3000 words), each signed and concluding with a secondary bibliography. Volume 5 ends with a variety of indexes: a general index, a "Time-Frame Index" (by decades), and a category index. Unfortunately, however, the general index lists the essays in which a topic, person, or event is discussed but not the major essay about the subject. To discover if there is an actual essay about a specific topic, one must go to the correct alphabetical portion of the encyclopedia or consult the "List of Entries" at the front of the volume. This would not normally be a problem, but unfortunately there are very few cross references in the text--and none at all in the index. For example, to find the American Association of Retired Persons, one needs to know to look under AARP; there is no cross reference from the full name to the acronym in either the encyclopedia or the general index. The general index only points the reader to an essay mentioning the American Association of Retired Persons, not to the essay specifically about AARP. In addition, there are no See Also references (except for one that should really have been a See reference). Nonetheless, this very well-written encyclopedia provides excellent overviews of American popular culture. And, bearing in mind the caveats about the index and cross-referencing, it is highly recommended for academic and public libraries.--Cynthia A. Johnson, Barnard Coll. Lib., New York (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.