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Encyclopedia of American biography /
John A. Garraty, editor, Jerome L. Sternstein, editor.
2nd ed.
New York : HarperCollins, c1996.
xvi, 1263 p. ; 25 cm.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-01:
This revised version of an encyclopedia first published in 1974 documents over 1000 individuals who contributed, for better or worse, to the development of American culture. Updated to cover the last 20 years, the work offers 93 new entries, including those on Presidents Ford, Carter, Bush, and Clinton; Gloria Steinem; Lee Harvey Oswald; and Steve Jobs (but, interestingly, not Bill Gates). Though weighted toward political, business, and military figures, the book includes individuals involved in medicine, social movements, the arts, entertainment, and athletics. Following the format established in the first edition, each entry appears in two parts. The first part presents a factual overview of the individual's life and work, while the second part evaluates the subject's impact on American society. Many entries from the first edition are updated to reflect new scholarship or the subject's activities since the original volume. Garraty (emeritus, Columbia) and Sternstein (history, Brooklyn Coll.) are widely published authors whose new work nicely complements recently published biographical works such as The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography (LJ 4/1/95). Recommended for all libraries.‘Stephen L. Hupp, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib. at Johnston, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1997-03-01:
In the 20 years since publication of the first edition of this title, also compiled by Garraty (CH, Feb'75), many people new to the national scene have influenced US history. However, the editors have chosen to add just 93 new entries. Each entry includes a brief biographical sketch, a signed analytical essay on the importance of the person in history, and resources for further reading. Some biographies have been rewritten by their original authors to bring them up to date, and others were changed only slightly when a factual update was necessary. The encyclopedia is informative and well written, and should be in the reference collection of every academic and large public library. D. Seaman Baylor University
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, January 1997
Library Journal, January 1997
Reference & Research Book News, February 1997
Choice, March 1997
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.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Over 1000 Americans from Columbus to Newt Gingrich are listed in this encyclopedic reference work that gives details of history, cultural place and the context of the subject's contribution to the American way of life.
Main Description
Featuring more than 80 new entries and hundreds of revisions, this second edition of a classic resource is the most in-depth and analytical of its kind. Comprehensive in scope and meticulous in detail, The Encyclopedia of American Biography examines more than 1,000 Americans who have contributed to the historical and cultural richness of the American scene, from the earliest explorers to those making headlines today. Each entry is at least a full page in length, which allows for two sections. The first, the objective section, outlines all the notable facts, dates and events of the figure's career. The second section, a subjective essay written by a prominent scholar or authority who specializes in the individual being discussed, fills the gap left by facts alone. It evaluates and puts in context the subject's contributions to American life and thinking and it discusses his or her style and personality: It brings the facts to life. The book also includes cross-references, showing how these lives affected those of their contemporaries and successors, and recommended sources for further reading. The only single-volume biographical reference to offer in-depth information, The Encyclopedia of American Biography is a cornerstone to every home, professional and public library.

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