Working Americans: Americans at War

“This outstanding reference observes the lives of Americans decade by decade up to 2015 and includes the most recent conflicts the country has faced. Americans in every walk of economic life are profiled, from steamship magnate to inner-city teenager, and from frontline soldiers to those at home who support or oppose war efforts. It is the purpose of this book to examine the pulse of the nation, its reaction, and its ability to adapt to the ever-changing face of the world under the shadow of strife. Each of the 13 chapters begins with an overview of events pertinent to the decade examined. The profile in each chapter examines life at work, at home, and in the community. The author’s broad range of detail is designed to focus on people living through actual conflict. VERDICT: This terrific study of how
Americans lived between 1880 and 2015 belongs in all libraries with extensive holdings in social and economic history. It will interest the individual scholar and general reader alike by virtue of the comprehensive bibliography at the end.”
-Library Journal
Online sources have made many traditional printed reference volumes somewhat obsolete. However, that is not the case with this unique gem that cannot be captured electronically. The fifth contribution in a series that examines the lives of representative Americans, this volume addresses one of the occurrences in people's lives that affects them in the most dramatic ways—war. Beginning with the frontier conflicts of the 1880s, the volume extends through the present day. Organized by decades, the collection brings together personal stories, media excerpts, clippings, diaries, letters, cartoons, statistical information, and thousands of photographs, pictures, and other visuals. The inclusions are both traditional ones and segments of popular culture that include a wide range from song lyrics to mementoes of all kinds. The volume reminds me of both a truly excellent museum display and a Ken Burns documentary in printed rather than video medium.
Each of the 13 chapters begins with an overview of important events of the decade and contains personal profiles (a total of 38). The volume highlights individuals from a range of ethnicities and socio-economic levels to capture a snapshot of Americans from many perspectives. A common feature in each chapter is a chart of selected prices and average pay for jobs as one element that demonstrates statistical comparisons between the decades. The index is quite useful. The volume is a tour de force, one that a reader can become absorbed in for hours on end. I recommend this compilation highly. It is an educational tool of impressive merit.