American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, I869-1914. Gerald Bordman. New York: Oxford, 1993.
This remarkable book sets out to cover all American non-musical theatre during the years indicated. It is comprehensive: "it chronicles, in order of opening, every Broadway comedy and drama, show by show, season by season, offering a plot synopsis, principal players, and important statistics." At times the entries include scenery and costumes, comments by critics, prices, audience descriptions, actors. It covers the whole theater. Yes, Hamlet is present, so is Uncle Tom's Cabin, and so is Ten Nights in a Barroom and U in-between. Over 4500 plays are mentioned and discussed.
This is a whale of a book, a whole shelf of theater history, and should be valued as such. For anyone interested in American history, culture, theater, and life this book is indispensable.
Peter Rollins Oklahoma State University
Sport on Film and Video: The North American Society for Sport History Guide. Eds. Judith A. Davidson and Daryl Adler. Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1993.
This compilation began as a suggestion that the NAASH needed a listing of sports films. Davidson, having volunteered to compile such a list, soon discovered that a comprehensive listing would be useful--and that the task was indeed large.
The result is this very useful listing "range from general interest to specific historical, sociological, and psychological topics in sport." Omitted were "how-to-do-it" and commercial films. Nevertheless the range is broad and the methodology simple. There are four separate indexes: "title, topic, name and distributor." If a film is not discovered in one place, it surely is easily located in another. Brief abstracts of each are included. All in all this is a satisfactory filmography.
Michael Schoenecke Texas Tech University
Mothers and Work in Popular American Magazines. Kathryn Keller. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1994.
Neither the thesis nor the evidence in Kathryn Keller's Mothers and Work in Popular American Magazines will come as news to readers at all sensitive to changes in women's roles over the past forty years. Keller argues that "The mass entrance of mothers into the workforce has created a tremendous conflict for the middle class," and that this conflict can be "documented by the increasing number of articles in women's magazines" that have addressed the changes in family values and gender roles brought about by working mothers (147-48). Mothers and Work, therefore, offers a content analysis of the leading mass-market magazines for women, examining articles focused on "changing familial roles for men and women" (7) from the 1950s through the 1980s.
If none of the documentation from Keller's content analysis comes as a surprise, much of it does serve the end of reviewing the remarkable ways in which the ideology of home and family has been deployed during the past four decades. …