Reference Books

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Author: Anita J. Slack
Date: Winter 2019
From: Reference & User Services Quarterly(Vol. 59, Issue 2)
Publisher: American Library Association
Document Type: Recommended readings
Length: 6,254 words
Lexile Measure: 1400L

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The American Flag: An Encyclopedia of the Stars and 137 Stripes in U.S. History, Culture, and Law The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty 138 Dreams: Understanding Biology, Psychology, and Culture 138 Encyclopedia of Political Assassinations 138 Encyclopedia of Public Health: Principles, Peoples, 139 and Programs From Smartphones to Social Media: How Technology 139 Affects Our Brains and Behavior Gangland: An Encyclopedia of Gang Life from Cradle to Grave 140 The Himalayas: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture 141 Hip Hop around the World: An Encyclopedia 141 International Cookbook of Life-Cycle Celebrations 142 MLA Guide to Undergraduate Research in Literature 142 Urban Health Issues: Exploring the Impacts of Big-City Living 143 The World's Oceans: Geography, History, and Environment 143

The American Flag: An Encyclopedia of the Stars and Stripes in U.S. History, Culture, and Law. By John R. Vile. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2018. 440 p. Acid-free $94.00 (ISBN 978-1-4408-5788-1). E-book Available (9781-4408-5789-8), call for pricing.

The average American displays the national banner every Fourth of July, shows respect by placing his or her hand over their hearts when it passes by in a parade, and (those of us of a certain age, anyway) remembers facing the starry standard in grade school while reciting the pledge of allegiance. Ask these same average Americans how much they actually know about Old Glory, however, and it may become apparent that the answer is "not much." Therein lies the need for the present volume under examination.

Both patriotic primer and ready reference work, this volume's first ninety pages consists of a series of overview essays covering such topics as flag etiquette, our flag's history, its design and creation, and how the United States ensign has influenced American art, music, journalism, and politics. The bulk of the book are the approximately two hundred alphabetically arranged entries, covering such diverse fields as art and artists ("Hassam, [Frederick] Childe," "Spirit of '76"); causes, events, and organizations ("Flag Manufacturers Association of America," "Suffragists and the U.S. Flag"); design and construction ("Colors of the Flag," "Stars, Arrangement of on U.S. Flags); famous flags ("Betsy Ross Flag," "Fort Sumpter Flag"); and a plethora of other topics, including songs, poems, and court cases. These encyclopedic articles are uniformly well written and researched, are cross-referenced, and conclude with a brief list of further reading suggestions. Black-and-white illustrations, while not numerous, nevertheless contribute to readers' comprehension of the material presented. Special features include a timeline of important dates and events in the history of our nation's flag, a glossary of vexillological terms, and an ample bibliography.

Author John Vile is a professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. Among his previously published reference works are The Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789-2015 (now in its fourth edition) and four volumes of the Documents Decoded series (all published by ABC-CLIO). He has been ably assisted in this most recent effort by a team of eight...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A619403192