The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life

A Tour through History from Ancient Times to the Present

by Joyce E. Salisbury, gen. ed., Gregory S. Aldrete, vol. ed., Lawrence Morris, Peter Seelig, Andrew E. Kersten, vol. ed.


Ordinary life through time and across the globe is explored in this landmark reference work.

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Cover image for The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life

June 2004


Pages 2500
Volumes 6
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics World History/Culture

We build our lives on essential but seemingly mundane things: Food, Shelter, Families, Neighbors, Work, and Play. The unremembered details of people's everyday struggles and successes have shaped history and continue to drive the world we know. This exciting new resouce offers an unprecedented look at human history's living heart: the billions of anonymous men and women often forgotten by historical studies, but without whose lives human history would be meaningless. Perfect for general readers and students of world history, U.S. history, literature, drama, social studies, anthropology, religion, and more, this award-winning resource offers an unprecedented look at how people lived, ate, dressed, worshipped, toiled, played, married and died, and much much more. Organized by timeframe (each volume covers a finite period) and then by topic (Historical Overview,then Domestic, Economic,Intellectual, Material, Political, Recreational, and Religious Life, followed by primary sources), this set will meet the needs of a vast perecentage of library patrons for both curricular studies as well as personal interest areas.

Our lives are built on essential but mundane things: food, shelter, families, neighbors, work, and play. Our activities rarely rise to headline-making greatness, and the same holds true for the majority of people throughout history. Yet it's the unremembered details of people's everyday struggles and successes that have shaped history and continue to drive the world we know. Based in part on Greenwood's award-winning Daily Life through History series, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life offers an unprecedented look at human history's living heart: the billions of anonymous man and women too often forgotten by historical studies, but without whose lives human history would be meaningless. Providing unparalleled breadth and depth, this six-volume set is organized both thematically and chronologically.

Panoramic overview articles show the full range and interconnections of everyday life throughout history. General topics are then broken into component parts, each of which is explored in detailed essays. The chronological and thematic organizations, aided by concept compasses that graphically show interconnections and act as visual navigational cues, reflect how students really learn. All regions of the world are covered at various points in their histories.

Volume 1 examines the ancient world, from the beginnings of civilization in 3,500 B.C.E. through the Roman Empire in 400 C.E. Volume 2 covers from 400 to 1400 C.E.
Volume 3 explores the 15th and 16th centuries
Volume 4 looks at the 17th and 18th centuries
Volume 5 examines the 19th century
Volume 6 covers the 20th century


  • Helpful research features include:^L ^DBL Historical Overviews^L ^DBL Concept Compasses^L ^DBL Numerous Illustrations and Maps^L ^DBL Chronologies^L ^DBL Sidebars^L ^DBL Primary Documents^L ^DBL For More Information Guides^L ^DBL Cumulative Set Index in Each Volume^L ^
Table of Contents

PrefaceHistorical OverviewDomestic LifeEconomic LifeIntellectual LifeMaterial LifePolitical LifeRecreational LifeReligious LifePrimary SourcesIndex



"Greenwood is to be applauded for this set's unique organization, which offers, instead of a contrived alphabetical arrangement, a thematic one that better fits the unique, complex subject material and helps readers navigate across topics, time periods, and cultures; the approach enhances ease of use and encourages comparative study. Entries are written for readers with no previous knowledge; they are relatively succinct, highly readable, and authoritative. Billed as a tour through history, the contents live up to this adventurous subtitle. Libraries that own monographs in Greenwood's Daily Life through History series will find this encyclopedia an expanded and important adjunct. Highly recommended. Students and teachers of history at secondary and early undergraduate levels."—Choice

"A carefully crafted encyclopedia designed for those without a background in cultural history. . . . [R]ecommended for high school and undergraduate libraries, as well as public libraries."—Library Journal

"[A]n ambitious and almost entirely successful project . . . a first-class tool for the non-specialist and [it] would make a very useful addition to the school, college or public library."—Reference Reviews

"[E]specially for high school, undergraduate, and large public libraries."—Reference & User Services Quarterly

"[W]ill serve high school, public and undergraduate libraries."—Gale Lawrence Looks an Books

"[O]utstanding in-depth, unique historical information. Highly Recommended."—Library Media Connection

"Given its concentration on daily life issues and the fact that it attemps to cover such a broad swath of human history, the Greenwood Ecyclopedia of Daily Life is a unique reference. It is particularly appropriate for high school students and lower division undergraduates in search of background information....[w]ill prove very useful for writing short papers and getting started on longer projects. Many public, high school and college libraries will want to add this set to their collections."—Against the Grain

"This ambitious and accessible resource provides an amazingly organized overview of the minutia that has shaped everyday life from antiquity through the present day....Daily Life provides a level of detail and ease that users will appreciate. Whether using the print or the online version, researchers can find in-depth information about a specific civilization, follow the development of particular social phenomena through history, or dip in for ready-reference-type facts and statistics. . . . [I]ts structure facilitates cross-cultural comparisons, and the online version greatly expands the content base. Greenwood Daily Life Online and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life are highly recommended for high-school, academic, and large public libraries. Special pricing is available for combination purchases."—Booklist, Starred Review


^IThe Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life^R is an ambitious and timely project. The coverage is admirably comprehensive in terms of major features of daily life, chronology, and geography. Understanding the history of daily life, and how this history improves our grasp on the past and on the role of the past in shaping daily life today, constitutes one of the real frontiers in historical scholarship over the past two decades. The ^IEncyclopedia^R builds on the huge improvements in knowledge, and makes them available to a wide public and student audience. What's additionally impressive is the extent to which entries not only provide data, but also encourage analysis through comparisons of different societies around the same daily life feature, and through comparison of different time periods as an entry to dealing with major changes and continuities.—Peter N. Stearns^LProvost, George Mason University^LEditor of ^IThe Encyclopedia of European Social History^R and ^IThe Encyclopedia of World History^R^LEditor, ^IJournal of Social History^R


Reference Reviews Top Ten Printed Reference Source CHOICE Outstanding Academic T

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