Presenting accessibly written information for general audiences as well as students and researchers, this three-volume work examines the evolution of American society and thought from the nation’s beginnings to the 21st century. It covers the seminal ideas and social movements that define who we are as Americans—from the ideas that underpin the Bill of Rights to slavery, the Civil Rights movement, and the idea of gay rights—even if U.S. citizens often strongly disagree on these topics.
Organized topically rather than chronologically, this encyclopedia combines primary sources and secondary works or historical analyses with text describing the ideas and movements in question. In addition, each entry includes a list of suggestions for further reading that directs readers to supplementary sources of information. The set’s unique perspective serves to depict how American society has evolved from the nation’s beginnings to the present, revealing how Americans as a people have acted and responded to key ideas and movements.
- Contains more than 200 entries from expert contributors on a wide variety of American ideas and movements, each accompanied by a relevant original document and helpful cross references
- Covers ideas and movements across a broad sweep of U.S. history that enable readers to see recurring themes as well as how American thought has evolved
- Presents U.S. history through a unique lens that enables students to better comprehend "the mindset of the American people," as opposed to the traditional study of history as a series of important events and people on a fixed timeline