Women in Popular Culture: The Evolution of Women’s Roles in American Entertainment

Greenwood. 2 vols. Mar. 2023. 784p. Tr $214. ISBN 9781440874123.
Gr 7 Up–Finley offers an uneven collection of mostly biographical entries after a small introductory section of thematic essays. Without a definition of pop culture itself, and clarification about how the subtitle reflects scope, this book may not meet users’ expectations. The essays leading off the work are slight and rarely recognize any medium of influence beyond television and film. Subjects chosen for the entries include women who are American, and many who are not, and again trend toward media arts as well as fictional characters (e.g., Hermione Granger). There is an entry for Telenovelas, but none for Manga; musicians, visual artists, and models get scant attention. The authors of bestselling books receive notice only within entries about mainstream movies based on the works. The analytic index is thorough; a chronology includes persons and events not found as entries.
VERDICT Scattershot selection of subjects and workmanlike writing citing web resources easily uncovered by high school students make this an exorbitant choice. Not recommended.

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