Cultural Encyclopedia of the Breast:

 Readers of [Playboy] magazine may be forgiven for thinking they know a thing or two about body parts. But with [this] new volume . . . [The] publisher shows there’s always more to discover. . . .[W]e’re not ashamed to admit we learned quite a bit. (Playboy)

The first of its kind, a timely and much needed contribution to studies of this renowned body part and its cultural significance. . . .the Cultural Encyclopedia of the Breast is an essential, empowering resource for anyone interested in understanding the historical magnitude and cultural importance of the breast. (Breast Cancer Consortium)

This unusual encyclopedia focusing on the female breast is scholarly and exhaustive, yet pleasurable to read. It should find its place among one’s favorite reference books. (Marilyn Yalom, Stanford University; author of A History of the Breast)

Perhaps more than to any other body part, even her genitals, a woman’s sexual and gendered sense of self may be tied to her breasts—a link fostered through social practices, cultural representations, and body politics. This transnational and interdisciplinary volume thoroughly explores the construction of rituals, laws, medical practices, entertainment, and art fixated on these fleshy organs. It is a deftly crafted and comprehensive work, deeply attentive to the breast in social context as well as persistent inequalities of gender, race, sexuality, age, ability, geography, and other markers of human status. (Lisa Jean Moore, Purchase College, State University of New York)


World of the American Revolution:

“This set is a valuable addition to any library, and it offers readers an important historical understanding of the everyday lives of people who lived before, during, and after the American Revolution.” – Booklist


History of American Cooking:

“This book will appeal to readers who eschew history as “his story,” as it illuminates what has typically occupied a large part of female daily life. Plus, the “melting pot” that is America is examined in terms of its multicultural influences on what we create and consume. Following a historical introduction covering five centuries, independent scholar Smith (Women’s Roles in Seventeenth-Century America) discusses chronology, cooking methods, techniques, popular ingredients, and recipes in ten chapters, each devoted to a particular type of cooking, e.g., braising, broiling, and grilling. A concluding chapter looks at emerging technology and what it means for future cooking and eating. VERDICT A well-researched addition to school and academic libraries supporting humanities curricula.”–Library Journal


Encyclopedia of Rape

“In an exceptional encyclopedia, Smith has created an invaluable, highly accessible guide to terminology, history, and current issues surrounding rape. The alphabetically arranged entries cover the physiological, political, and psychological aspects of rape, and supply biographical sketches of notorious rapists and their victims from ancient times to the present. The language used is at times graphic, and by its nature the volume is intended for adult readers, but entries are written with an unflinching regard for facts, avoiding sensationalism. . .Users at all levels will find this volume a useful resource for scholarly information on recent high-profile rape cases, and it will also serve as an entry point for further research on rape and its subtopics. Highly recommended. General and academic readers.” – Choice

“This carefully researched work will serve as an excellent introduction to the subject for an student. Highly recommended for public, college, and high school libraries.” – Library Journal, Starred Review

“The authors’ straightforward writing styles contribute greatly to the success of this resource. The one- to two-page entries are written with high-school and college students as well as general readers in mind. Each entry provides a basic overview that often includes references to historical events or people, legislation, or other issues explored in the book. Numerous cross-references, in bold type, supply links to other topics that may be of interest….The Encyclopedia of Rape is an excellent general overview of various topics relating to rape. Highly recommended for public, academic, and high-school libraries.” – Feminist Collections

“This useful guide is highly relevant to public and academic libraries.” – Lawrence Looks at Books


Women’s Roles in Eighteenth-Century America

“Recommended. Undergraduate collections.”—Choice


Women’s Roles in Seventeenth-Century America

“Without question, this book fills a gap in the literature with a well-written and documented overview of women during the seventeenth century.” – Feminist Collections


Breaking the Bonds: Marital Discord in Pennsylvania, 1730-1830

“In Breaking The Bonds, Merril Smith establishes the ambitious goal of determining ‘what kind of problems arose in troubled marriages’ and of analyzing ‘how men and women coped with marital discord.’ . . . To accomplish this, Smith studied hundreds of divorce petitions, other legal documents, newspapers, almshouse dockets, and prescriptive literature. She concludes that, as in the present day, married couples fought and parted over sex, money, and abuse.”  —Pennsylvania History

“A richly textured study. . . With an eye to cross-class and cross-race representation, Smith utilizes diverse sources, including memoirs and diaries, correspondence, probate records, newspaper advertisements, depositions and petitions for divorce, and various moral reform and social regulatory organization records. . . . A brave attempt to write a description of ‘the development of the Puritan concept of spiritual growth.’ . . . Gracefully written. . . provides specific new insights into a too-neglected area of early republican domestic politics.” —William and Mary Quarterly


Sex Without Consent

“Needed historical perspective . . . thorough documentation . . . excellent.” – Library Journal

“The book provides some very interesting examples of early legal standards for prosecuting rape charges and charges of child sexual abuse in the United States.” –Archives of Sexual Behavior

“Merril Smith’s edited volume provides numerous articles that will be of great worth to the historical and feminist communities. The range or articles in this volume goes beyond the usual “hotspots” while still allowing for important comparisons.” –Journal of Social History

4 Responses to “Reviews”
  1. Your book The History of Cooking sounds amazing. What a great concept – to integrated your scholarly research into cooking. Mazel tov on all your successful writings! Warmly, Shanna

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