This eight-volume set, aimed at middle school students and above, provides overviews of the key historical people and the social, political, economic and cultural events from pre-colonial America to the U.S. of today. Guided by the National Council of Social Studies standards for middle school, the alphabetically arranged entries range in length from a single paragraph to eight or nine pages and provide introductory information on topics of historical interest. While the topics tend toward the political and economic, there is ample representation of popular arts, including entries on Beatlemania, country music, hip hop and rap and rock and roll. Events as recent as the reauthorization of the Patriot Act also are included. Entries are cross-referenced through the use of bold-faced type and over 400 black and white photos and illustrations support the text. The length of the entries and the language clearly target a middle school audience; this set could also be used effectively by struggling or second language readers at the high school level. A bibliography of print and digital resources is included in each volume, as is a comprehensive index. Recommended for middle school and high school libraries.