History Dictionaries | History Encyclopedias

Dec 2016
176
SAN
#1
Having decided that my history studies will focus on Emerging-Modern America (~ 1890 - 1940), I have recently started compiling a collection of "better" USA history dictionaries / encyclopedias. Like all desktop references in the Internet Age, these books are usually older, cheap, bulky tomes in almost unread condition.

Penguin Encyclopedia of American History Hardcover – 2003

Encyclopedia of American History: Seventh Edition – 1996

Reader's Companion to American History Hardcover – 1991

They are good for factual summaries and concise background information.

The consumption of history content via nonlinear formats is intriguing to me.

To wit, I am big fan of TV shows MURDOCH MYSTERIES and WHITE COLLAR.
 
Dec 2016
176
SAN
#5
The choice to keep / buying selection of History Reference books, such as the aformentioned "dictionary" or "encyclopedia" formats is whether it beats the Internet experience. As you can see, the medium of "dictionary" or "encyclopedia" physical book formats for American history fell out of production some 15 - 20 years ago.

That is not to say they are invalidated. As a reference, they look at history that ended in 2005, to use one example listed in my O P, but it is still accurate summary of facts and events from then to backwards.

If it is easier to look up in the book, and possibly seeing other topics of interest, then the book is utility. Many times I am reading in bed and I don't want to look at a screen for any reason.
 
May 2009
1,307
#6
I guess it depends on what you want the book for. When it comes to reference books I prefer e-books over physical books because they're so much easier to search through. Having to use the index of a physical book feels like a chore compared to being able to just search a document for certain words in a few seconds. But yeah, some books you just want to read the old fashioned way. And of course not all books are even available in e-book format. Sometimes you have no choice.
 
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Dec 2016
176
SAN
#7
I have pulled this smaller edition from the Reference Library:

Penguin Encyclopedia of American History Hardcover – 2003

I have added this mammoth edition to the Reference Library:

The American Heritage Encyclopedia of American History – 1998
 
Dec 2016
176
SAN
#8
Final suggestions for American History Dictionaries | Encyclopedias:

The American Heritage Encyclopedia of American History – 1998

Encyclopedia of American History: Seventh Edition – 1996

Reader's Companion to American History Hardcover – 1991

All older, unfortunately, but like I said earlier, this is a space now crowded with online resources.

If I had to pick just one:

The American Heritage Encyclopedia of American History – 1998
 
Dec 2016
176
SAN
#9
HUGE: American Cultural History Encyclopedia by Scribners Reference Staff

A robust diamond cheaply available on the Web:

Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History
3 Volume Set

ISBN-10: 0684805618

Vol. 1: pt. 1. early America. Overview ; European and indigenous encounters ; Africa and America ; Colonial images of Europe and America ; Puritanism as a cultural and intellectual force ; Education in early America ; The material shape of early American life ; Anglo-American religious traditions ; Philosophy from Puritanism to the Enlightenment ; Popular belief and expression ; The fine arts in colonial America ; Mercantilism ; Law (colonial) ; Conflicting ideals of colonial womanhood ; Race as a cultural category --
pt. 2. Revolution, Constitution and the early republick to 1838.; Overview ; Liberalism and republicanism ; Federalists and antifederalists ; Jacksonian ideology ; Whig ideology ; The New England theology from Edwards to Bushnell ; The transformation of American religion, 1776-1838 ; The Black church : invisible and visible ; The classical vision ; Agrarianism and the agrarian ideal in early America ; The arts in the republican era ; The print revolution ; Rhetoric and belles lettres ; Prophetic Native American movements --
pt. 3. Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction: 1838-1877. Overview ; Slavery and race ; Slave culture and consciousness ; Thought and culture in the free Black community ; Expansion and empire ; Antislavery ; Reform institutions ; Evangelical thought ; Moral philosophy ; American romanticism ; Transcendentalism ; Communitarianism ; Women in the public sphere, 1838-1877 ; Domesticity and sentimentalism ; Secession, war, and union ; Popular intellectual movements, 1833-1877 ; Southern intellectual life ; Science and religion --
pt. 4. Commercial and national consolidation: 1878-1912.; Overview ; Urban cultural institutions ; Patterns of reform and revolt ; Gender, social class, race, and material life ; Gender and political activism ; Manhood ; Realism in art and literature ; The transformation of philosophy ; The rise of biblical criticism and challenges to religious authority ; The struggle over evolution ; Racialism and racial uplift --
pt. 5. World War I, the 1920s, and the Great Depression. Overview ; Industrialism and its critics ; Cultural modernism ; Anti-modern discontent between the wars ; The popular arts ; The Harlem Renaissance ; The behavioral and social sciences ; Pragmatism and its critics ; Radical alternatives ; The artist and the intellectual in the New Deal ; Religious liberalism, fundamentalism, and neo-orthodoxy ; The athlete as cultural icon.

Vol. 2: pt. 6. World War II and the 1950s. Overview ; World war and Cold War ; The culture and critics of the suburb and the corporation ; Women and family in the suburban age ; The design of the familiar ; The professional ideal ; The ideal of spontaneity ; The culture of self-improvement ; Franco-American cultural encounters and exchanges ; The world according to Hollywood ; Analytic philosophy --
pt. 7. The 1960s and 1970s. Overview ; Race, rights, and reform ; Countercultural visions ; Popular culture in the public arena ; Intellectuals and ideology in government ; Second-wave feminism ; The discovery of the environment ; Vietnam as a cultural crisis --
pt. 8. Teh Reagan era to the present. Overview ; Resurgent conservatism ; Poststructuralism and postmodernism ; Postmodernism in the arts ; The struggle for the academy ; Multiculturalism in theory and practice ; New philosophical directions --
pt. 9. Cultural groups. African Americans ; American expatriate artists abroad ; Artistic, intellectual, and political refugees ; Asian Americans ; Evangelical Protestants ; Gays and lesbians ; German speakers ; Irish Americans ; Italian Americans ; Jews ; Latinas and Latinos in the United States ; Native Americans ; Roman Catholics ; Whites and the construction of whiteness ; Women ; Working class --
pt. 10. Geography and cultural centers. The city ; Pastoralism and the rural ideal ; Regionalism ; New England ; The frontier and the West ; The idea of the South ; Appalachia ; The Middle West ; The Southwest ; Borderlands ; New York City ; Chicago ; Philadelphia ; Antebellum Charleston ; The San Francisco Bay area ; Detroit ; Cincinnati ; New Orleans ; Southern California ; Utah and Mormonism --
pt. 11. Nature, human nature, and the supernatural. ; The natural world ; God, nature, and human nature ; Humanitarianism ; Intelligence and human difference ; Psychology, the mind, and personality ; Anthropology and cultural relativism --
pt. 12. The political order. Nationalism ; Democracy ; Liberalism ; Conservatism ; Constitutional thought ; International relations and connections ; Social reform ; Socialism and radical thought ; Populism ; Anti-statism.

Vol. 3: pt. 13. The economic order. Success ; Technology ; Political economy ; Consumerism ; Welfare ; Twentieth-century economic thought --
pt. 14. The social order and social identity. Individualism and the self ; Family ; Sexuality ; Gentility and manners ; Ethnicity : early theories ; Ethnicity and race ; Race ; Class --
pt. 15. The pursuit and the exchange of knowlege. The scientific ideal ; The humanities ; The social sciences ; The visual arts ; Education ; Law and the American mind ; Medicine ; Disciplines and their institutionalization ; The role of the intellectual ; Authorship, intellectual property, and copyright ; Elite vs. popular culture ; Culture for mass audiences ; The American university ; Foundations and philanthropy ; Learned societies and professional associations ; Government ; Organized religion ; Literary reviews and "little magazines" ; Textbooks ; Technological enclaves ; Salons, coffeehouses, conventicles, and taverns ; Lyceums, chautauquas, and institutes for useful knowledge ; Almanacs and ephemeral literature ; Libraries ; Museums ; The Internet and electronic communication ; Journals of opinion --
pt. 16. The arts and cultural expression. Books ; Journalism ; Periodicals ; Architecture ; Film ; Photography ; Painting ; Sculpture ; Television ; Radio ; Advertising ; Rhetoric ; Public murals ; Monuments and memorials ; Memory ; Drama ; Fiction ; Poetry ; Music ; Dance ; Fashion --
pt. 17. Methods and concepts. The history of ideas ; Biography ; Myth and symbol ; Hermeneutics and American historiography ; Marxist approaches ; Gender ; Cultural studies ; Social construction of reality ; History and the study of the past ; Weberian approaches.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,571
Portugal
#10
US history is quite far from my main focus, but some years ago I used a lot the “Encyclopedia Americana”, in a 1930’s edition.
 

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