Catalogue

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Growing up in twentieth-century America : a history and reference guide /
Elliott West.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1996.
description
xiv, 378 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0313288011 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1996.
isbn
0313288011 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
1847158
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [351]-352) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-10-01:
For any subsequent editions of West's remarkably rich and thoughtful synthesis of 20th-century American culture, a new subtitle should be found. Yes, this is "a history and a reference guide"--the bibliographic essays alone are worth the price--but it is also one of the most readable, accessible, and thoughtful social histories currently available. This work is insightfully organized around recurring familial themes and changes affecting home, play, work, school, health, and the law. West cleverly interweaves fascinating historical marginalia--the evolution of the modern bathroom, the origin of IQ tests, fast food, and consumer culture icons such as the yo-yo, Elvis Presley, and Dr. Seuss--around fundamental technological and social forces that continue to transform child labor in a service economy, demonstrate the financial hegemony of the 50-something baby boomer population, and further exacerbate the atomization and exclusivity of American life. The latter is powerfully demonstrated by comparing the purposes and participants of early 20th-century Coney Island with those of Walt Disney World. For Americans of a certain age, the differences are stark and revealing. General readers; undergraduates. E. M. Tobin Hamilton College
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œFor any subsequent editions of West's remarkable rich and thoughtful synthesis of 20th-century American culture, a new subtitle should be found. Yes, this is a 'history and a reference guide'--the bibliographic essays alone are worth the price--but it is also one of the most readable, accessible, and thoughtful social histories currently available. This work is insightfully organized around recurring familial themes and changes affecting home, play, work, school, health, and the law. West cleverly interweaves fascinating historical marginalia...around fundamental technological and social forces that continue to transform child labor in a service economy, demonstrate the financial hegemony of the 50-something baby boomer population, and further exacerbate the atomization and exclusivity of American life. The latter is powerfully demonstrated by comparing the purposes and participants of early 20th-century Coney Island with those of Walt Disney World. For Americans of a certain age, the differences are stark and revealing.'' Choice
'œ[P]rovides a competent overview of the history of American children since 1900. It is well researched and reads easily so as to be reliable and accessible to interested scholars of various specialities and disciplines, as well as to secondary school social studies teachers.'' Social History
'œThe user who is researching a given time period will find all of the information in one place. The one who is investigating a certain aspect, such as education, will easily be able to do so by referring to the section of each chapter devoted to it....This book, based on many authoritative texts, will provide valuable data for many assignments....Recommended.'' The Book Report
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1996
Voice of Youth Advocates, December 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
We cannot understand the United States in the twentieth century, the "century of the child," without understanding the prominent part that children and adolescents have played in the American story. Much has changed for young people during this century and this is the first work to illuminate those developments from the turn of the century to today. Rich in detail, this work tells the story, often through the words of children themselves, of young people not only as part of the broader changes that have swept American life but as initiators of change in our everyday life, work and play, institutions and values. No other book has done this. As a reference tool the work is divided into four chronological chapters, 1900-1920, 1921-1940, 1941-1960, and 1960 to the present. Each chapter contains six sections, "At Home," "At Play," "At Work," "At School," "Health," and "Children and the Law." From the teddy bear to the Barbie doll; from child labor in sweatshops to teenage workers in McDonald's; from the one-room schoolhouse to the SATS, from childhood scourges to the eradication of many childhood diseases, each chapter offers copious detail and fascinating narrative about children's lives. The reader can learn about all the topics in a particular era or focus on one topic and follow it through the decades. The many tables and statistics will aid the reader and researcher. Each chapter concludes with a narrative bibliography of recommended works of interest on the topics discussed. A selection of photos complements the text. This work will be invaluable to social studies and American history classes and teachers, high school and public libraries, and students of American social history.
Long Description
We cannot understand the United States in the twentieth century, the century of the child, without understanding the prominent part that children and adolescents have played in the American story. Much has changed for young people during this century and this is the first work to illuminate those developments from the turn of the century to today. Rich in detail, this work tells the story, often through the words of children themselves, of young people not only as part of the broader changes that have swept American life but as initiators of change in our everyday life, work and play, institutions and values. No other book has done this. As a reference tool the work is divided into four chronological chapters, 1900-1920, 1921-1940, 1941-1960, and 1960 to the present. Each chapter contains six sections, At Home, At Play, At Work, At School, Health, and Children and the Law. From the teddy bear to the Barbie doll; from child labor in sweatshops to teenage workers in McDonald's; from the one-room schoolhouse to the SATS, from childhood scourges to the eradication of many childhood diseases, each chapter offers copious detail and fascinating narrative about children's lives. The reader can learn about all the topics in a particular era or focus on one topic and follow it through the decades. The many tables and statistics will aid the reader and researcher. Each chapter concludes with a narrative bibliography of recommended works of interest on the topics discussed. A selection of photos complements the text. This work will be invaluable to social studies and American history classes and teachers, high school and public libraries, and students of American social history.
Table of Contents
Introduction
1900-1920 1921-1940 1941-1960 1961-Present General
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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