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Christmas 1940-1959 (A Schiffer Book for…
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Christmas 1940-1959 (A Schiffer Book for Collectors)

by Robert Brenner

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Christmas:1940-1959 : A Collector's Guide to Decorations and Customs is a "revised 2nd edition" with 2004-2005 prices, according to author Robert Brenner's website. The book is profusely illustrated with gorgeous full-color photographs of ornaments, decorations, and other Christmas paraphernalia and ephemera, as well as nostalgic black-and-white period photographs. Interestingly, many of the latter have prices listed in the captions.

The text, however, is nearly impossible to read. The font used in the book is very small. Sentences are repeated in nearly identical format on the same page, often in adjacent paragraphs. Apparently the proofreading was very poor, as every time the phrase "after the war" appears, "after" is capitalized, irregardless of its position in the sentence. Finally, there are many detailed descriptions of items that are not illustrated, which is frustrating.

The organization of the book adds further to its tediousness. After an introductory section on "Our European Past," divided by decades from 1850 to 1939, the book has two chapters, one on the 1940s and one on the 1950s. Each chapter covers the same topics - historical perspectives, cards and paper, trees and decorations under them, European and American influences on glass ornaments, other tree decorations, how homes were decorated, and indoor and outdoor lighting. However, since there weren't that many changes from one decade to the next, there is a lot of repetition. Although there are no footnotes or endnotes, there is a references cited list at the end of the book, as well as a two-page index. ( )
3 vote riofriotex | Jan 12, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764318993, Paperback)

This in-depth review of Christmas history and traditions in the United States covers a period that most Americans remember well. Everyone can appreciate this nostalgic look at Christmas decorating customs, electric lighting innovations, and tree decorations, all of which changed drastically as a result of World War II. This period of Christmas history witnessed the advent of machine-produced glass ornaments, bubble lights, Italian miniature lights, Matchless Stars, and a proliferation of decorations produced in Japan, Europe, and the United States. Included are many historical photos, color pictures of decorations from each decade, a detailed text, and updated value guide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:51 -0400)

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