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The volume is composed of 27 major topic sections, including "African Americans," "Agriculture," "Architecture," "Education," "Film," "Industry," "Transportation," and "War." Each section begins with an interpretive essay and a synthesis of the topic, followed by 20 to 60 alphabetically arranged entries. For example, "Media" has entries on Brokaw, Tom; Denver Post; Immigrant newspapers; Radio; and Telegraph, to name a few. The entries include extensive cross-referencing plus a multitude of black-and-white illustrations and maps. All entries are signed by their contributors, and most contain a reference or two for further information.
The overarching topical arrangement makes good indexing essential. Readers looking for information on individual Great Plains states, for example, will need to turn to the index to find that there are brief state entries in the "Politics and Government" section. Fortunately, the indexing is detailed enough to pull together content from across the encyclopedia.
This volume is valuable for a wide variety of user groups, including high-school students, undergraduates, and researchers. It is highly recommended for most libraries in the heartland as well as for all academic and large public libraries. Diana Shonrock
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