The World of Antebellum America: A Daily Life Encyclopedia, 1st Edition Greenwood 2 v. 2019 $218
Similar Titles in E-Reference Collection
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in America 4v 2009
Title overview (Publisher website)
Publisher description: Throughout the Antebellum Era resonated the theme of change: migration, urban growth, the economy, and the growing divide between North and South all led to great changes to which Americans had to respond. By gathering the important aspects of antebellum Americans' lives into an encyclopedia, The World of Antebellum America provides readers with the opportunity to understand how people across America lived and worked, what politics meant to them, and how they shaped or were shaped by economics.
Entries on simple topics such as bread and biscuits explore workers' need for calories, the role of agriculture, and gendered divisions of labor, while entries on more complex topics, such as aging and death, disclose Americans' feelings about life itself. Collectively, the entries pull the reader into the lives of ordinary Americans, while section introductions tie together the entries and provide an overarching narrative that primes readers to understand key concepts about antebellum America before delving into Americans' lives in detail.
CHOICE (2019): This encyclopedia complements two other works in the "Daily Life Encyclopedias" series: The World of the American Revolution, ed. by Merril Smith (CH, Jun'16, 53-4223), and The World of the Civil War, ed. by Lisa Tendrich Frank (CH, Mar'16, 53-2921). The impressive scholars Kindell assembles provide compact entries on life in the antebellum period, including the daily lives of slaves and Native Americans. Covered are the arts, social customs, fashion, family, recreation, religion, eating, and technology. For example, in the section on science and technology, an entry tells how grain elevators, canals, and steam power created a new economic relationship between farmers and merchants and contributed to the rise of cities across the country. Entries include cross-references and suggestions for further investigation. Seventy-five pages of primary sources are most welcome. For example, an 1860 Godeys Lady's Book provides instructions for creation of the latest in fashionable wedding dresses. Another, more sobering example is a devastating 1859 account, from the New York Tribune, of the historic slave auction that took place at the Ten Broeck Race Course on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia. This set is a valuable resource for understanding the antebellum period. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates; general readers.-J. H. Pollitz, Southern Illinois University