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Recounts the enduring products, innovative trends, and fun fads of the past ten decades.
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It is commonplace for students studying a pivotal historical issue--war, stock market crash, death of a president--to research its effect on American mores. A good place to begin is this ambitious set, a testimonial to "what a difference a century may make." From Betty Boop to anime; the cocktail hour to ecstasy; flappers to the Goth culture; Sears, Roebuck catalog to Home Shopping Network; and The $64,000 Question to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? these volumes--packed with a myriad of provocative personalities, events, and underlying trends--make a fascinating read for the student researcher and the armchair historian alike.
The first level of arrangement is chronological, with each volume covering two decades. For each decade, A-Z entries are sorted into nine categories: "Commerce," "Fashion," "Film and Theater," "Food and Drink," "Music," "Print Culture," "Sports and Games," "TV and Radio," and "The Way We Lived." The foremost fads and styles emblematic of this century's culture are described and analyzed in more than 750 signed entries that vary in length from 150 to 1,000 words, with 500 words being the average. Special features make locating information almost effortless. Each volume, containing an index and a cumulative table of contents, has additional listings of all entries by alphabetical order and by the nine topical categories. A time line highlights key historic and cultural events. Introductory overviews of each decade and topical category provide more information. "At a Glance," a box offering examples of "What We Said," "What We Read," "What We Watched," "What We Listened To," and "Who We Knew," reveals how life was celebrated during that period. Cross-referencing, an awkward denoting of decade, topical category, and volume number (but not page number) that chops up the text, is used to redirect, but it is doubtful that a teen researcher would take the time to follow these leads. Sidebars might have been more helpful. Archival photographs, posters, and other black-and-white prints earn a mere glance. No color photographs are included. Bibliographies of additional sources-- including Web sites--conclude all entries, offering an opportunity for more in-depth investigating in why historical events matter.
Any good school library media specialist can see the advantage of purchasing this clear, concise set because it has the potential for easy integration into curriculum planning with any school subject area. It is geared for middle-school and high-school users; public libraries with strong usage by teens should consider purchasing it as well. RBB
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Grade 6 Up-Looking for information on the Ziegfeld Follies, where Raggedy Ann dolls came from, or the history of the Boy Scouts? This enjoyable and informative set is perfect for answering these questions and others. It's two decades per volume of Cracker Jacks, Chia pets, Andy Hardy movies, LPs, PCs, and Curious George. The signed articles are written in an accessible style that sets the trend, fashion, or cultural figure within its proper context, and gives a brief glimpse at the ineffable why. But this is not a ponderous collection. Clearly, the authors have set out to have fun and have succeeded. Each volume is divided into approximately nine chapters that address such topics as: "Commerce," "Film and Theater," and "Food and Drink." Each chapter begins with multipage quick reference boxes that list "What We Said," "What We Read," and so on. The first 100-plus pages in each volume include a set table of contents, an alphabetical list of set entries and another by topic, a guide to using the book, and a time line of the 20th century. Each volume closes with a comprehensive index. Well-chosen, black-and-white photographs of average quality illustrate this resource. For quick reference on a cornucopia of cultural pleasures, this is a great buy for libraries and a fine complement to Carl L. Bankston's Encyclopedia of Family Life (Salem, 1999; o.p.). However, libraries that already own The Guide to United States Popular Culture (Bowling Green, 2001) probably won't need Bowling.
Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, TX
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description U·X·L / Thomson Gale, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0787656755
Book Description U·X·L / Thomson Gale, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0787656755