From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Entries are signed and include useful bibliographies (but few Internet sites). The encyclopedia is especially strong in social history topics and pays particular attention to issues related to gender and race. There is some repetition (both Class and Caste and class and both strikes and Sit-down strikes). Nearly half of the articles are biographies, covering individuals such as James Agee, Busby Berkeley, Felix Frankfurt, J. Edgar Hoover, Jesse Owens, Diego Rivera, Walter Ruether, and Mae West, to name just a few. Cross-references are plentiful. For example, Communication and the press has references to Advertising in the Great Depression, Communications Act of 1934, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Hollywood and the Film Industry, and radio. However, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has no cross-reference to Rural Electrification Administration (REA). An A-Z list of articles, a list of the 270 contributors with their academic affiliations and the entries for which they are responsible, and an outline that groups entry headings under broad topics precede the encyclopedia portion of the text. A time line and an index constitute the back matter.
This set covers a time period of great popular interest, emphasized in high-school and college courses. The Encyclopedia of the Great Depression and the New Deal (Sharpe, 2001) takes a different approach, offering thematic essays and a selection of primary documents in addition to entries that are arranged in several parts instead of in a single alphabet. It is appropriate for public and academic libraries. Depression America (Grolier, 2001) is designed expressly for high-school students and takes a thematic and highly visual approach. Encyclopedia of the Great Depression is an attractive and accessible resource that will be a valuable addition to most high-school, college, and public library collections. RBB
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