Readers looking for unique perspectives and teachers seeking new springboards into their curriculum will appreciate this edition from Greenwood Press. The four-volume set treats the American home as a symbolic lens through which to examine over five hundred years of American history. The set is divided into separate time periods, each covered by a different scholar. The writers weave together various influences, including geography, urban and rural development, cultural studies, demographics, politics and the national and global economy. The narrative structure follows the architectural metaphor, taking readers on a “tour” in and around homes from the particular periods, addressing, for example, the wider topics of historical and cultural background and architectural stylings, exploring aspects of construction and manufacturing, zooming in for a glimpse at the homes’ interiors, from floor plans to furniture and, finally, taking the tour outside to look at landscaping techniques as well as the relationships homes have to their neighborhoods and local environments. For those interested in further inquiry, the set provides an extensive overview of resources; the volumes are divided into 2 or more chronological segments, each opening with a timeline that puts events and dates of the period into context and concluding with a glossary and resource guide listing relevant books and websites. Black and white photos and illustrations, and a few color plates, offer readers a closer look at architectural details and designs, while sidebars enhance the text. When Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in 1835, for example, he expressed his surprise at the dichotomy between the uneducated peasants he expected to meet when he ventured into the countryside and the middle-class farmer who invited him in to his cabin: “On his rough table are books and newspapers...One might think one was meeting a rich landowner who had come to spend just a few nights in a hunting lodge.” The author goes on to connect de Tocqueville’s remarks with the march of suburbanization that ensued. Each volume begins with an introductory note regarding the chapters that follow; the final segment, 1986-present, provides a conclusion to the entire set. Highly recommended for high school, college and public libraries.