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Great Events From History: The 20th Century, 1941-1970

by Robert F. Gorman

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Annie--Here is the review. Sorry for the lateness---Jerry

Salem Press has released its ninth installment in the ongoing publishing effort to document major historical events. Great Events from History: The 20th Century, 1941-1970, is a six volume, $495 purchase, encompassing 3,896 pages, 1,112 essays, and 1,100 significant events from World War II to the first two years of the Nixon administration. The set also contains the standard Salem press format with 500 photos, 90 maps, and 235 sidebars and tables to round out the visual presentation of this material.

This set will be followed by another six volume Great Events from History: The 20th Century, 1971-2000 in April 2008.

The foundation of Great Events...1941-1970 actually incorporates previously published events series that includes updated revisions of entries in the other Salem press series such as, Chronology of European History, 15,000 C.C. to 1997; Great Events from History: North American Series, Revised Edition; and Great Events from History II (20 volumes, 1991-1995).

Great Events...1941-1970 consists of 799 previously published essays from the sets above. Salem has added 313 completely new essays while the bibliographies in the original articles have been updated and expanded.

Each essay is approximately 1,850 words and all adhere to a uniform format, which adds to the scanning, browsability of this set. The top matter of each entry includes: the date of the event, common name, a summary paragraph, the locale, categories of the event, key figures, summary of the event, event significance, further reading, and cross-references to other essays.

There are 83 topics covered in the set. It behooves the reader to glance at the Publisher's Note, page xi to xii, which will show a breakdown of essays, with 170 indexed under "science and technology," followed by 131 under "laws, acts, and legal history," and "War, uprising, and civil unrest," (127). Geographic diversity is also broad. A sampling of other topics in the set include: animals and endangered species, civil rights and liberties, crime and scandal, expansion and land acquisition, health and medicine, human rights, migration, , indigenous people's rights, inventions, music, mythology and folklore, religion and ethics, social issues and reform, space and aviation, sports, terrorism, travel and recreation, the United Nations, and women's issues.

One may think that if libraries own earlier allied sets the purchase of Great Events from History: The 20th Century, 1941-1970 may be deferred. This is not the case since to compete with the likes of Wikipedia, libraries must present the more credible and authoritative print information in an efficient and accessible format, especially to the "millennials" who are more attracted to Google sources and Wiki-type offerings. Recommended for public and undergraduate libraries. ( )
  jjocarbone05301 | Aug 8, 2008 |
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