“This Is Who We Were: 1880‐1899 joins the other This Is Who We Were books in providing students with primary‐source information about a particular period in United States history. Section one begins with 29 profiles of individuals like that of telephone company executive Donald Rutherford in 1880; the profiles include snapshots of life at home and work and facts on life in the community (in the case of Rutherford, the community was Boston, Massachusetts). This section of profiles is generously illustrated and successfully immerses readers in the life and times of the person featured using various materials like historic documents and diaries. A list of historical snapshots of inventions, political events, women's rights, expansion, and more comprises the second section, while section three provides data on the annual income of blacksmiths, cigar makers, and others for 1883, 1890, and 1898, along with pricing information for such products as furniture polish, a typewriter, and coffee in 1883, 1890, and 1898. This section also has information on the value of a dollar from 1860 to 2014. Section four "All around Us," uses 86 documents in chronological order (mostly reprinted in their entirety) from popular magazines and newspapers to give a sense of how people felt about a variety of topics like music, shopping, women's work, and education. The fifth and largest section, "Census Data," is comprised of six state‐by‐state ranking tables from 1880, 1890, and 2010 followed by reprints from the 1890 Census of Population and a reproduction of the report "Progress of the Nation: 1790‐1890."
This will be a helpful resource for students from middle school through high school and beyond because it makes accessible in one place a wealth of interesting and useful information…” ‐ARBA