Encyclopedia of the Great Depression. 2 Vol. Set

ISBN-13: 978-0028656861
ISBN-10: 0028656865
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–This comprehensive, accessible set will serve as a useful supplement for research. Myriad aspects of the crisis are covered in almost 550 alphabetically arranged, cross-referenced articles written by hundreds of international scholars. About 200 of the articles are biographies. Topics are easily located via a practical outline in volume one listing entries under categories such as "Agriculture," "Intellectual Trends and Developments," "International Situation," "New Deal," and "Women and Gender." Article length varies, with most being a page or slightly longer; FDR's entry is 10 times that. Large black-and-white archival photographs, several by Dorothea Lange, are judiciously placed throughout. More straightforward and drier than James Ciment's Encyclopedia of the Great Depression and the New Deal (Sharpe Reference, 2001), which features primary-source documents, and without as much intrinsic appeal as Depression America (Grolier, 2001), this is nonetheless a worthy resource.–Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Frequent modern references to the Depression and New Deal programs make this new work particularly welcome. It "provides an overview of the severe economic slump that impoverished countless Americans" and transformed U.S. government, business, and social programs. More than 500 alphabetically arranged articles focus on topics in politics, economics, religion, science, art, and literature, ranging from Abraham Lincoln Brigade to Wright, Richard. Articles are from 300 to 5,000 words in length. The number and variety of photographs illustrate the time period very well and make the work especially attractive. Editor McElvaine, of Millsaps College, has written or edited several other Depression-related books.

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Encyclopedia of the Great Depression. 2 Vol. Set
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