Encyclopedia of Women in the American West

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9780761923565: Encyclopedia of Women in the American West

The Encyclopedia of Women of the American West captures the lives of more than 150 women who made their mark from the mid-1800s to the present, contextualizing their experiences and contributions to American society.

Including many women profiled for the first time, the encyclopedia offers immense value and interest to practicing historians as well as students and the public.

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About the Author:

Gordon Morris Bakken is Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton. He has written several book and articles including The American West, co-authored by Brenda Farrington.



Brenda Farrington is an adjunct faculty member of Long Beach City College who has taught for five years in our history program. She has recently co-authored a book with Gordon Bakken from Cal State Fullerton "Learning California History," subtitled "Learning Skills for the Survey Course and Beyond."

From Booklist:

A companion to Sage's Handbook of American Women's History (2000), this alphabetically arranged encyclopedia focuses on ways in which women had an impact on the history of the West from the mid-1800s to the present. Signed articles written by approximately 60 subject experts, most college or university affiliated, run from a partial column to better than 10 pages. Most of the entries are biographical, covering 150 women as varied as Barbara Boxer, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Willa Cather, Molly Ivins, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Sarah Winnemucca. The weighting is appropriate, with shorter entries for biographical profiles and longer ones for general areas of study, such as Conservation movement, 1870-1940; Education; and prostitution. Coverage is selective rather than comprehensive; for example, the only state that has an entry is Kansas, to give an idea of "how to structure a work on women in a place." Each article concludes with a bibliography. The number of sources cited depends on the depth of treatment of the topic. Frequent well-reproduced black-and-white photographs illustrate and extend the accessible articles. Despite the many contributors, the style is remarkably uniform and easy to read.

In addition to an alphabetical list of entries, the "Reader's Guide," which precedes much of the front matter, lists articles in nine different categories, among them agriculture and ranching, arts and letters, education, law, and women's organizations. Cross-referencing is provided in the form of see also references in the accurate index, but otherwise cross-references are absent. The volume concludes with a chronology (1804-2003), a list of women's organizations, a helpful essay on researching women's history, a comprehensive bibliography, and the aforementioned index.

Despite the price, this is a sound purchase for college and university libraries with women's studies or American West programs as well as for large public libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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