Shea, Daniel M. & Brian M. Harward. Presidential Campaigns. 305p. (Documents Decoded). chron. further reading. index. ABC-CLIO. 2013. Tr $79. ISBN 9781610691925; ebk. ISBN 9781610691932. LC 2013006048.
Gr 9 Up –Using critical commentary and primary-source documents, this evenhanded work sheds light on “crisis points” in presidential campaigns from 1952 to 2012. The authors chose documents that they feel represent “critical events” in election campaigns, with the majority being speeches and addresses; also provided are political ads, press conference excerpts, debate transcripts, memos, reports, and a photograph. From Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech to the Lyndon B. Johnson campaign “Daisy Girl” ad to Eagleton’s press conference regarding his treatment for depression, the documents impart a flavor of the corresponding time. Each entry begins with a brief introduction, which is followed by two columns that present source text on one side of the page and comments and analysis on the other. Shaded boxes, boldface, and colored type clearly indicate the specific areas expanded upon. The inclusion of a portion of the Starr Report requires the authors to touch on specifics of the affair between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. While students might not gravitate to this volume on their own, it provides examples of close and critical reading, and using text to support analysis within an historical framework, both expectations of the Common Core State Standards. Consider for specialized government classes, courses needing primary-source analysis, or those teaching speech and debate.
Smith, Andrew F. Food and Drink in American History: A “Full Course” Encyclopedia. 3 vols. 1475p. bibliog. index. photos. reprods. ABC-CLIO. 2013. Tr $310. ISBN 9781610692328; ebk. ISBN 9781610692335. LC 2013007323.
Gr 7 Up– With 664 alphabetically listed entries and 128 primary documents about people, businesses, historical periods, and food or drink items, the author’s aim of providng an alternative look at American History has been met. An introductory discussion of food is subdivided by historical eras; following that is the main body of entries, which range from a third of a page to longer than six pages in length each and have black-and-white illustrations and historical recipes sprinkled throughout. Entries close with cross references and further reading lists featuring predominantly print material. Helpfully for collections supporting Common Core requirements, the last volume has primary documents that date from 1539–2012 and include letters, newspaper articles, book excerpts, and laws–even menus from the Titanic are listed. The somewhat similar Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (2012) is more scholarly, but lacks recipes. Teachers and libraries that support general history enthusiasts will find a lot of use for this work.
Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence. 2 vols. 832p. bibliog. index. Sharpe Reference. 2013. Tr $249. ISBN 9780765683007. LC 2013019775.
Gr 6 Up– This set not only examines clothing and fashion as a way to cover, or not cover, the body, but also how dress is a way to trace the history of groups through their costuming habits. Of great use to students and amateur researchers is the topic finder that organizes the entries according to subjects such as accessories and adornments; art and media; biographies; clothing types (functions, purposes, groups); materials; historical periods and styles around the world, with a focus on the United States and England; holiday and event costumes; the creation and care of clothing; merchandising and commerce; local styles, again with a strong emphasis on the United States and England; techniques and trades/professions; and trends and movements. The 313 major entries offer basic overviews of people, groups, materials, and meanings of clothing throughout time, with several photographs included as well. Each entry is organized with subheadings, and includes cross references and suggestions for further reading. This work will be useful to students creating reports on cultures, geographies, costuming for theater, advertising, biographies of subjects such as Amelia Bloomer and Vera Wang, and manufacturing of clothing.
This Is Who We Were: In the 60s. 607p. bibliog. chart. chron. index. maps. photos. reprods. Grey House. 2013. Tr $150. ISBN 9781619252486; ebk. ISBN 9781619252493.
Gr 9 Up– This extensive work is chock-full of data, detail, and the drama of the 1960s. After an opening essay on the era and an introduction, a “Profiles” section covers individuals such as a “Plumbing Salesman, Honolulu, HI,” “Disillusioned Beatles Fan, Birmingham, AL,” and “Vietnam War Bride, Saigon, Vietnam and Boston, MA.” The sections that follow discuss “Historical Snapshots,” “Economy of the Times,” “All Around Us–What We Saw, Wrote, and Listened To,” and “Census Reports.” The work is a veritable treasure chest of secondary and primary sources, including newspaper reprints and census reports. However, like an older relative’s scattered but overflowing archive, this title is a little random and disjointed. Its layout is fairly cluttered and dense, the fonts are small, and there is too little white space and narrow margins. The format may deter high school students who are used to the clean, boxed DK style of reference work. The books in Salem Press’s “Decades” are similar and may be more appealing for the high school audience.
New volumes in established Series
Nations of the World: A Political, Economic, and Business Handbook. 2126p. chart. maps. websites. Grey House. 2013. pap. $180. ISBN 9781619252585. LC 2001238305.
American Post-Modernist Novels. 328p. (Introduction to Literary Context Series). bibliog. index. photos. reprods. Salem Press. 2013. Tr $165. ISBN 9781619252103.
MCGIVERON, Rafeeq O. Fahrenheit 451. 261p. (Critical Insights Series). bibliog. chron. index. notes. photos. Salem Press. 2013. Tr $85. ISBN 9781619252240.
PEEL, Katie R. Jane Eyre. 287p. (Critical Insights Series). bibliog. chron. index. reprods. Salem Press. 2013. Tr $85. ISBN 9781619252189.
BAKEWELL, Lisa. Mental Health Information for Teens: Health Tips About Mental Wellness and Mental Illness. 444p. (Teen Health Series). diag. further reading. index. websites. Omnigraphics. 2014. Tr $69. ISBN 9780780813212. LC 2013042664.