The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia

Cynthia Clark Northrup | 2003 | ISBN: 1576078663 | English | 709 pages | PDF | 6 MB

This is a work designed as "a reference tool for anyone who wishes to learn more about the role of economic policy in American history" from colonial times to the present. Volume 1 provides more than 500 brief, alphabetically arranged entries with information on, among other topics, concepts such as Ecosocialism, Globalization, and Industrial heartland; prominent individuals such as Henry Ford, John Maynard Keynes, and Ralph Nader; and events such as French and Indian War, Industrial Revolution, and the Yazoo land companies scandal. Most of the contributors are faculty connected with higher education. The writing style is geared to upper-level secondary-school students.

Volume 2 presents 31 essays and 20 primary source documents. The signed essays are intended to be read as a whole, often running from three to five pages. Unlike the short entries in the first volume, they offer relatively comprehensive treatment of a subject and its history, connection with other events, and contemporary impact on American society. Essay topics range from "Energy Policy" to "Intellectual Property" to "Urbanization," and all contain a brief bibliography of serial and monographic sources. As with any collection of essays, writing style varies by contributor. The primary source document section gives readers the full text of, for example, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society speech. Volume 2 concludes with a lengthy bibliography and very detailed subject index.

This is the type of reference source that will hold its value even as more and more reference materials migrate from print to electronic format (although it is also offered in an e-book version). Rather than attempting to offer up-to-date facts and figures, it focuses on definitions, identifications, and carefully considered overviews. It will be a welcome addition to reference collections serving primarily secondary-school and undergraduate students.

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