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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0028650158, Hardcover)

Social history is often described as the history of everyday life and the forces that shape it. Social historians place more emphasis on the effects of an event than on the event itself. To a social historian, therefore, wars, battles, and military strategies matter less than the impact of these things on those left on the home front. American Life: A Social History is a collection of articles excerpted from the three-volume Encyclopedia of American Social History. Written by noted historians, the 47 articles investigate a variety of topics such as childhood, housing, manners and etiquette, public entertainment, and sports. Don't let the seemingly low number of articles fool you--the pieces are quite lengthy and cover a lot of ground. For example, the 10-page entry on country & western music includes brief biographies of musical pioneers (Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family), descriptions of subgenres (honky-tonk, bluegrass, western swing, country pop), and even a sidebar on Minnie Pearl.

The wide margins are dotted with quotations, topic headings, cross-references, and definitions; more than 200 illustrations enhance the text. A detailed index--AARP to Vladimir Zworykin--helps readers pinpoint information and draw parallels between articles. Accessible enough for a casual reader, but still of great value to a student, American Life: A Social History is a great resource for those interested in American history. --C.B. Delaney

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:51 -0400)

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