Encyclopedia of American Biography: In-Depth Profiles of Over 1,000 Prominent Americans [2nd Edition]

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9780062700179: Encyclopedia of American Biography: In-Depth Profiles of Over 1,000 Prominent Americans [2nd Edition]

Featuring more than 80 new entries and hundreds of revisions, this second edition of a classic resource is the most in-depth and analytical of its kind.

Comprehensive in scope and meticulous in detail, The Encyclopedia of American Biography examines more than 1,000 Americans who have contributed to the historical and cultural richness of the American scene, from the earliest explorers to those making headlines today.

Each entry is at least a full page in length, which allows for two sections. The first, the objective section, outlines all the notable facts, dates and events of the figure's career. The second section, a subjective essay written by a prominent scholar or authority who specializes in the individual being discussed, fills the gap left by facts alone. It evaluates and puts in context the subject's contributions to American life and thinking and it discusses his or her style and personality: It brings the facts to life. The book also includes cross-references, showing how these lives affected those of their contemporaries and successors, and recommended sources for further reading.

The only single-volume biographical reference to offer in-depth information, The Encyclopedia of American Biography is a cornerstone to every home, professional and public library.

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From Booklist:

Thorough, but by necessity, selective, this revision of the 1974 edition includes entries for 1,000 Americans who have made significant historical or cultural contributions to American life. Most of the subjects are deceased, but there are entries for living presidents, writers, Supreme Court justices, and others. More than 80 biographies have been added to this edition and hundreds revised to make this the most current, comprehensive, one-volume dictionary of American biography in print.

Each entry is divided into two parts. The first is a chronological, objective description of the person's life, providing facts and dates. The second part is an essay written by a prominent scholar who specializes in the period or subject. This second part of the entry is what makes the Encyclopedia of American Biography unique compared with the Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography (1995) or The Concise DAB (1990). The in-depth analysis provides a context in which to evaluate the subject's place in American history. Each essay is completed with a citation to a book that the author thinks is the best to consult for more information on the subject. Several small annoyances with the work exist: there is no single list of the contributors, and there is no other means of access to the main entries--it would have been helpful to have an occupation index.

With its reasonable price and the evaluative nature of the entries, the Encyclopedia of American Biography should provide for every library a nice bridge between the short, fact-based biographical dictionary and the longer monograph.

From Library Journal:

This revised version of an encyclopedia first published in 1974 documents over 1000 individuals who contributed, for better or worse, to the development of American culture. Updated to cover the last 20 years, the work offers 93 new entries, including those on Presidents Ford, Carter, Bush, and Clinton; Gloria Steinem; Lee Harvey Oswald; and Steve Jobs (but, interestingly, not Bill Gates). Though weighted toward political, business, and military figures, the book includes individuals involved in medicine, social movements, the arts, entertainment, and athletics. Following the format established in the first edition, each entry appears in two parts. The first part presents a factual overview of the individual's life and work, while the second part evaluates the subject's impact on American society. Many entries from the first edition are updated to reflect new scholarship or the subject's activities since the original volume. Garraty (emeritus, Columbia) and Sternstein (history, Brooklyn Coll.) are widely published authors whose new work nicely complements recently published biographical works such as The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography (LJ 4/1/95). Recommended for all libraries.?Stephen L. Hupp, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib. at Johnston, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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