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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995

Book Reviews
Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. Edited by Richard N. Current, Paul D. Escott,
Lawrence N. Powell, James I. Robertson Jr., and Emory M. Thomas. (New
York: Simon and Schuster, 1993. Pp. lvi+1,916. 4 volumes. Preface, fore-
word, directory of contributors, alphabetical list of entries, abbreviations
and symbols, key to map symbols, maps, illustrations, synoptic outline of
contents, appendices, index. ISBN 0-13275-991-8. $335.00.)
During the past few decades, researchers seeking basic information on the his-
tory of the South and Southwest have thrived on a bevy of excellent reference
works, including the Handbook of Texas (1952 and 1976), the Encyclopedza of
Southern Hstory (1979), and the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1989). Likewise,
titles on special subjects such as slavery and Reconstruction and magnificent
multivolume historical and biographical encyclopedias of individual states (in-
cluding Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia) have
proven indispensable. Packed with cogent articles by leading scholars, these end-
lessly enlightening volumes represent one of the best means the historical pro-
fession reach and teach the most people. And now instantaneous
electronic access via CD-ROM and online networks promises even wider dissemi-
For the study of the American Civil War, a few fundamental reference works
stand out. These include Mark M. Boatner III's Czvil War Dictionary (1987); The
Confederate General (1991), edited by William C. Davis; The Historical Times Illus-
trated Encyclopedia of the Civil War (1986), edited by Patricia L. Faust; E. B. Long
and Barbara Long's The Civil War Day by Day (1971); Mark E. NeelyJr.'s Abraham
Lincoln Encyclopedia (1982); Jon L. Wakelyn's Biographical Dictionary of the Confed-
eracy (1977); and Ezra J. Warner's Generals in Gray (1959) and Generals in Blue
Now the Encyclopedza of the Confederacy joins that list. Not only is it an impressive
work of scholarship, but it also seems certain to ride the crest of the wave of pub-
lic enthusiasm for Civil War history that has continued unabated for the last
decade. Nothing dramatizes this happy combination of excellence and populari-
ty better than the History Book Club's adoption of the hefty four-volume set
which, even with the club discount, can only be described as expensive.
Promoted by a glossy brochure claiming coverage "as sweeping in scope as the
Civil War itself," the nearly-two-thousand-page encyclopedia boasts a staggering

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 30, 2016.

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