A sister volume to The Oxford Companion to American Literature, this Companion ""attempts to serve as a one-volume reference book on American history."" A cursory survey and random sample of its selections indicates that it has achieved this aim: it is accessible and inclusive. Mr. Johnson has summarized persons, events, places of significance in the founding and development of the nation, has given book room to all the elements of American life from politics and law to art, science, literature, to sports and entertainment. Outstanding persons and events receive no more than 2000 words with bibliographical references; there are cross references throughout. Random sampling finds Mies Van Der Rohe between Midway Islands and Migratory Labor, Tocqueville alongside Tom Thumb, The Battle of the Bulge before the Bull Moose Party. Less well known subjects are also in abundance, assuring comprehensiveness. Since it is intended for use with the Companion to American Literature, literary figures have been treated essentially for their historic rather than literary importance (William James wins more space than his ""equally influential brother"" Henry.) The new Companion has an open field free of competition and will quickly take its place as a standard reference.