Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Silverman has filled a gap in the folklorist's and cultural anthropologist's bookshelf with this volume on the folklore of Polonia, the macro society of Polish immigrants and their descendants in the US. No other book has documented Polish American folklore as thoroughly as this does. Silverman provides excellent historical, social, and cultural contexts in her presentation of many expressions of Polish American culture, such as Easter and Christmas celebrations, rites of passage, religious traditions, folk medicine, folk song, folk dance (with a special chapter devoted to the polka), folk games, folk arts and crafts, and foodways. She bases her scholarship on extensive first-person interviews (1970s-'90s) with members of the community (drawing mostly from New York) and from primary and secondary library research. She incorporates abundant folkloristic and ethnic theory into her presentation, although some academics might wish for deeper explanations from her examples. She does a superb job of incorporating parallel examples from relevant studies of other ethnic groups. A volume in the well-respected "Folklore and Society Series," it is recommended for general and academic readers at all levels. J. B. Wolford; University of Missouri--St. Louis