3-1 | Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia

Book Review

Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia

Sharon M. Scott
Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2009. References, illustrations, index. xxix, 418 pp. $85.00 cloth ISBN: 9780313347986

by Samira Kawash

First Paragraph:

Toys and American Culture is an ambitious reference book that breaks new ground in taking the entire field of American toys as its purview. Previous guides to American toys have focused on classic toys, old and new favorites with particular cultural significance or staying power. The best of these are Tim Walsh's Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and The Playmakers Who Created Them (2005) and Scott Eberle's Classic Toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame: Celebrating the Greatest Toys of All Time! (2009), books which not only document toy history but also provide extensive context and discussion. As an encyclopedia, Toys and American Culture aims to be far more comprehensive. Although the book does not quite live up to its promise to "provide the cultural and historical framework for understanding American toys," it does bring together in one convenient volume essential information about a diverse range of toys and toy-related subjects.