The World of the American Revolution
A Daily Life Encyclopedia
by Merril D. Smith, Editor
August 2015, 970pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3027-3
$220, £170, 192€, A302
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3028-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

“Patriotic” boycotts of British goods adversely affected ordinary Americans.

This two-volume set brings to life the daily thoughts and routines of men and women—rich and poor, of various cultures, religions, races, and beliefs—during a time of great political, social, economic, and legal turmoil.

What was life really like for ordinary people during the American Revolution? What did they eat, wear, believe in, and think about? What did they do for fun? This encyclopedia explores the lives of men, women, and children—of European, Native American, and African descent—through the window of social, cultural, and material history. The two-volume set spans the period from 1774 to 1800, drawing on the most current research to illuminate people’s emotional lives, interactions, opinions, views, beliefs, and intimate relationships, as well as connections between the individual and the greater world.

The encyclopedia features more than 200 entries divided into topical sections, each dealing with a different aspect of cultural life—for example, Arts, Food and Drink, and Politics and Warfare. Each section opens with an introductory essay, followed by A–Z entries on various aspects of the subject area. Sidebars and primary documents enhance the learning experience. Targeting high school and college students, the title supports the American history core curriculum and the current emphasis on social history. Most importantly, its focus on the realities of daily life, rather than on dates and battles, will help students identify with and learn about this formative period of American history.


  • Provides summaries of what people ate, wore, and read and also includes topics such as apprenticeships, camp life and military training
  • Covers ordinary routines of daily life, such as cleanliness, use of privies, and menstruation
  • Starts each thematic section with a brief introduction
  • Includes primary documents that bring the past to life and are an important resource for students
  • Offers further reading suggestions after each entry as well as a bibliography of print books, online sources, and relevant films
Merril D. Smith, PhD, is an independent scholar. Her published works include ABC-CLIO's History of American Cooking as well as Greenwood's Encyclopedia of Rape, Women's Roles in Seventeenth-Century America, and Women's Roles in Eighteenth-Century America, among others. Smith holds a doctorate in American history from Temple University.


"This set is a valuable addition to any library, and it offers readers an important historical understanding of the everyday lives of people who lived before, during, and after the American Revolution."—Booklist, November 24, 2015

"This resource provides helpful preliminary information and is recommended for beginning students of U.S. history. Recommended. Community college and beginning undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, June 1, 2016

Daily Life

What was life really like for ordinary people in other cultures throughout history? How did they raise their children? What did they do for fun? From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, and from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the indispensable hands-on volumes of this award-winning series. A truly interdisciplinary resource, the Daily Life series covers arts; religion; food; literature; language; romance; rites of passage and coming of age; marriage customs; social and government structure; sickness and cures; warfare; sports and games; holidays; festivals; and more. Supported by the most current research, these authoritative volumes provide an in-depth exploration of daily life throughout history.

Each volume provides:
• An exploration of complex eras in history on a level accessible to students and general readers
• Authoritative coverage stemming from the most current scholarship and recent discoveries
• A focus on social rather than political history in key curricular areas, providing an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of daily life
• Interactive, exciting details such as recipes, sheet music, rules for games, song lyrics, and more
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