Dictionary of American History

ISBN 13: 9780684195797

Dictionary of American History

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9780684195797: Dictionary of American History
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From Booklist:

This set updates and expands upon the 1976 Dictionary of American History. Edited by Robert H. Ferrell (known for his many works on Harry Truman) and Joan Hoff, both of Indiana University, the two volumes "contain 757 entries . . . of these, 469 are completely new," with the rest replacing or updating entries in the original set.

The volume opens with an uncredited nine-page essay, "America and the World: 1976^-1995," and concludes with an index. The format is the same as that of the parent work, with alphabetically arranged entries that can be easily understood by the general reader. There are no illustrations or biographical entries. All entries are signed by one of the 340 contributors, and most conclude with brief bibliographies. Unfortunately, the supplement continues the parent work's tradition of failing to give page references to journal-article citations. Cross-references to other articles in the main set and elsewhere in the supplement are given at the end of entries with a boldface DAH: and SUPP:, respectively. The Board noted one omission: though there are see references to the Computers and Electronic Mail entries at the end of the Internet article, there is no reference to the World Wide Web entry.

Articles range in length from less than a column (Eating Disorders) to just over four pages (Soviet Union, Relations With). There are individual entries for all states as well as for major cities. Articles that have been updated include Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Human Rights, and Unemployment. Brand-new entries include Gulf War of 1991, Set-Asides, Video Games, and Waco Siege. Some entries, such as Roe v. Wade, cover topics that actually came within the time frame of the original set but have since grown in importance.

Articles are quite up to date. The Baseball entry, for example, details the August 1994 strike. Educational and Intelligence Testing refers to the notoriety of The Bell Curve. The Board did spot some omissions in the Pulitzer Prizes entry. Though the article notes the number of 1995 prizes, it fails to note Edward Albee's third prize for drama in 1994 and also omits Eugene O'Neill's 1922 prize in the same category.

Overall, the supplement is just as reliable a work as the master set, and every library owning the original will definitely want to update it with these volumes.

From Book News:

<:;st>The 1976 edition of the eight-volume Adams' Dictionary of American History is cited in BCL3 and Sheehy. This two-volume supplement contains 757 signed entries; of these 469 are new entries, 110 are replacements, and 178 are updates to existing articles. All entries contain a brief bibliography and are cross-referenced to relevant topics both in the Supplement and the mother work. Biographies are not included (so as not to duplicate coverage in Scribners' companion work, the Dictionary of American Biography). Pre-pub price until 12/31/96: $180. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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