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The Oxford Companion to United States History (Oxford Companions) Hardcover – July 4, 2001
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The Companion examines the notable men and women and major events in U.S. history, such as wars or the Depression, as well as ideas and ideologies, technological innovations and economic developments, and long-term processes such as immigration and urbanization. Each entry is written by an authority on the subject, thoroughly cross-referenced in the 78-page index, and arranged alphabetically for easy reference. The alphabetic organization makes for some strange (or amusing) combinations of people on the same page: Billy Graham and Martha Graham; "Mother" Jones and Michael Jordan; Persian Gulf War and Petroleum Industry; Income Tax, Federal, and Indentured Servitude.
A browser's delight, but full of solid scholarship, The Oxford Companion to United States History deserves the treatment its editors recommend--as "a work to be thumbed and worn out, not a book to be put behind glass on a shelf!" Absolutely essential for the well-stocked history library. --Sunny Delaney
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The Companion tries to cover too many aspects of cultural history and its icons. As a result it sacrifices information on many important political and public figures. We get biographies of Michael Jordan and Marilyn Monroe but no separate bios of George Mason, William Borah, Hiram Johnson, Henry Cabot Lodge, Tom Watson, Joseph Cannon, Thomas Dewey, Nelson Rockefeller, Clarence Darrow, Sam Rayburn, Jesse Jackson -- and the list goes on and on. When they are covered it is often in snipets in subject area articles, which does not give a complete overview of their public careers.
What it does cover in cultural and intellectual history is often incomplete. The Companion has separate artices on the history of the blues, jazz and a weak article on rural country and folk music, but absolutely nothing on bluegrass or commercial country music and its pioneers. The index doesn't even mention the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe or Hank Williams. Yet country music far exceeds both the blues and jazz in popularity in terms of its fan base and are certainly deserving popular art forms for inclusion.
The selection of significant figures for separate biographies is often strange and arbitrary.Read more ›
The articles tend to be long involved essays. I'm in no position to argue their validity, as scholarship, but I want short, to the point articles. I tend to use a book like this for reference when reading popular writing by established scholars, and I'll leave the ruminations to my current author; it's not the place of a single-volume handbook. Rather like the New York Times exceeding its bounds with its long "in-depth" articles when I just want the facts of the matter, in so far as they can be ascertained and presented. This has nothing to do with ideology; a newspaper is something different from a specialist magazine, or even a news magazine. The same goes for a handbook of history.
Remedy might be sought in the Index. Alas, the Index enumerates mentions, but offers no guidance as to where the bulk of the info may be found, unless there's actually a headworded article for the matter. Sometimes there *isn't* anything substantial.
Garraty and Foner's Readers Guide to US History frequently offered convenient articles that told me what I wanted to know.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an Oxford History INSERT SUBJECT HERE book fanatic. They are usually hard cover, as I wish a scholarly work, and perfect works in every manner. Read morePublished 7 months ago by DaveHwriter
This is a wonderful and detailed reference for the history buff! It pleased the recipient who had this on his wish list and that was good for me!Published 17 months ago by Emma's Buddy
Great reference book for my research, especially helpful for my companion book to Juniper and Anise, which was recently published by Whiskey Creek Press. Read morePublished 19 months ago by M. Cornett
British readers will be unsettled by the boastful swagger of the introduction. For blurb writers to describe a book as 'authoritative' is acceptable, but not if asserted by the... Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by Giles Penfold
The Factual Events on United States History as it happened. Its Laid out like a Dictionary with the Definitions of events throughout the timeline of our Countries History.Published on February 10, 2011 by Chris
Easton has been printing gorgeous books for as long I as can remember. They work on the same old subscription method of "giving" you a low-priced "introductory" volume, after which... Read morePublished on July 8, 2009 by Robin Wolfson
Most of the entries are detailed and informative, as well as fair and balanced, even on controversial subjects. Read morePublished on May 18, 2009 by Darrell J. Hartwick