The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives (SEAL) is a biographical dictionary series in which each subsequent volume will cover a five-year period. Scribner envisions SEAL as the continuation of the Dictionary of American Biography (DAB). Volume 1 "contains the biographies of 494 persons who died between 1 January 1981 and 31 December 1985." Selection criteria are that the biographees made significant contributions to American life and culture, e.g., Grace Kelly and Archibald Macleish, or "deserve to be remembered," e.g., Dian Fossey, Dewey Markham, and Karen Ann Quinlan. An appreciable number of women and people of color are recognized. All biographies are signed contributions by 332 scholars. Readable and of varying length, these entries contain biographical references, and most are accompanied by a photograph of the biographee. Three essays include the "traditional biographical data, such as birth and death dates, place of birth and place of death, and a chronological order of the details of the biographee's life, for example, parents, family life, occupation (s) or careers, marriage, and achievements. The volume has an occupations index and directory of contributions and their contributions, though for quick reference an index of biographees would have been welcomed. Perhaps future volumes will also include a topical index?a feature of DAB?listing historical events and names of institutions, religions, organizations, etc., that were prominent in a biographee's life. However, SEAL's greatest importance is that it places the individual in historical context. A valuable successor of the highly respected scholarly tradition set by DAB.