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September 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Booklist Editors' Choice
Titles were reviewed in Reference Books Bulletin from February 2004 through January 2005. With one notable exception, only new titles, not new editions of existing titles, were considered. All the titles are intended for students at the high-school level and up and a general adult audience.
African American Lives. Ed. by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. 2004. 1,025p. Oxford, $55 (0-19-516024-X).
More than 600 black Americans who have left a distinctive imprint on American society and culture are profiled in this reference source. The volume is intended as a forerunner to an eight-volume encyclopedia entitled African American National Biography, which is scheduled to be published in 2006.
African Americans at War: An Encyclopedia. 2v. By Jonathan D. Sutherland. 2004. 819p. ABC-CLIO, $185 (1-57607-746-2).
The inclusiveness and comprehensiveness of this encyclopedia make it impressive. Devoted exclusively to the war experiences of African Americans beginning in the late seventeenth century and extending to events just before the outbreak of the Second Gulf War, it chronicles both the well known and the long forgotten.
American Decades Primary Sources. 10v. Ed. by Cynthia Rose. 2003. Gale, $855 (0-7876-6587-8).
A treasure trove of more than 2,000 primary sources on U.S. history and culture, ranging from speeches and literary works to graphs and architectural drawings. Although many of the sources might be found on the Internet, they lack the organization and context provided here.
Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History. Ed. by William H. McNeill and others. 2005. 2,600p. Berkshire, $525 (0-9743091-0-9).
Cultural connections are the focus of this set from a new reference publisher. See our review on p.888.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Ed. by James R. Grossman and others. 2004. 1,117p. Univ. of Chicago, $65 (0-226-31015-9).
In our ideal reference world, there would be an encyclopedia like this one for every great American city. This is a superb ready-reference work on Chicago, a good starting point for students doing research, and just a wonderful book to browse through.
Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. 3v. Ed. by Valerie Steele. 2004. 1,600p. Scribner, $395 (0-684-31395-2).
Exciting new fields of inquiry sometimes evolve from fresh perspectives on topics once considered marginal or even frivolous. Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion charts the new academic territory of fashion studies, which is based on the assumption that our clothing choices say a great deal about who we are and where we place ourselves in society.
Encyclopedia of Exploration. 2v. By Carl Waldman and Alan Wexler. 2004. 660p. illus. indexes. Facts On File, $200 (0-8160-4678-6).
Although there are plenty of resources on the popular topic of exploration for younger students, there hasn’t been much for the high-school level and up. Two volumes—one covering people and the other covering “Places, Technologies, and Cultural Trends”—chart explorers and explorations from 2450 B.C.E. to the present.
Encyclopedia of Homelessness. 2v. Ed. by David Levinson. 2004. 886p. Sage, $295 (0-7619-2751-4).
There have been a variety of publications on homelessness in the last few years, but no other up-to-date source is as comprehensive as this encyclopedia. Entries cover homelessness in 8 major U.S. cities and 30 cities and nations around the world, as well as causes of homelessness; historical aspects; housing, policy, health and lifestyle issues; and service systems.
Encyclopedia of Leadership. 4v. Ed. by George R. Goethals and others. 2004. 1,927p. Sage, $595 (0-7619-2597-X).
What is leadership? What is a great leader? What is a great follower? What are the types of leadership? And how does someone become a leader? This set was designed with the needs of several user communities in mind, including students, scholars, and professionals who want to explore such questions.
Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America. 3v. Ed. by Marc Stein. 2003. 1,423p. Scribner, $380 (0-684-31261-1).
At a time when full equality is being championed and challenged, the publication of this resource could not be timelier. It succeeds in opening up for contemporary readers the complex history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trangender life in the U.S.
Encyclopedia of the Arctic. Ed. by Mark Nuttall. 3v. 2004. 2,380p. Routledge, $525 (1-57958-436-5).
This comprehensive encyclopedia is the only major reference work devoted to the increasingly threatened North Polar region.
Encyclopedia of the Great Depression.2v. Ed. by Robert S. McElvaine. 2003. 1,134p. Macmillan, $265 (0-02-865685-5).
This handsomely illustrated set covers a time period of great popular interest, emphasized in high-school and college courses. The encyclopedia is especially strong in social history topics and pays particular attention to issues related to gender and race.
Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. Ed. by David J. Wishart. 2004. 940p. Univ. of Nebraska, $75 (0-8032-4787-7).
Here is a unique reference book that cuts a broad swath through parts of the U.S. and Canada, the region known as the heartland. The book’s topical arrangement perfectly suits the cross-boundary approach.
Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. 2v. By Cary D. Wintz and Paul Finkelman. 2004. 1,408p. Routledge, $325 (1-57958-389-X).
This is the fullest reference work on the Harlem Renaissance published so far. It covers not only the expected aesthetic issues—literature, art, and music—but also the historical, political, and socioeconomic environment in which the movement took place.
Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era. 4v. Ed. by James Eli Adams and others. 2004. 1,632p. Grolier, $499 (0-7172-5860-2).
Designed with a broad audience in mind, this interdisciplinary encyclopedia provides a snapshot of the vast British-dominated world during the long reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901). Adding to the set’s readability is a strong emphasis on matters of daily life.
Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 4v. Ed. by Jonathan Dewald. 2003. Scribner, $695 (0-684-31200-X).
Readers will find an impressive breadth of coverage here, from the mid–fifteenth century, a period of relative stability following the chaos of the late Middle Ages, to the French Revolution. The focus is on Europe within the context of world history and includes meaningful developments in the arts, religion, politics, exploration, and warfare.
Greenwood Daily Life Online. [Internet database]. 2004. Greenwood, pricing from $599.95 [http://www.dailylife.greenwood.com]. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life. 6v. Ed. by Joyce E. Salisbury and others. 2004. 3,000p. Greenwood, $599.95 (0-313-32541-3).
This ambitious and accessible resource provides an amazingly organized overview of the minutiae that has shaped everyday life from antiquity through the present day. Whether using the print or the online version, researchers can find in-depth information about a specific civilization, follow the development of particular social phenomena through history, or dip in for ready-reference type facts and statistics.
A History of Women in the United States: State-by-State Reference. 4v. Ed. by Doris Weatherford. 2003. 1,680p. Grolier, $399 (0-7172-5805-X).
Although other women’s history reference sources have an A–Z or a chronological scheme, this one’s state-by-state perspective makes it unique. Good organization and a high degree of readability add to its value.
Major Acts of Congress. 3v. Ed. by Brian K. Landsberg. 2003. 1,175p. Macmillan, $290 (0-02-865750-0).
Entries analyze 262 statutes—from the Northwest Ordinance (1787) to the Department of Homeland Security Act (2002)—selected on the basis of their historical significance, contemporary impact, and contribution to an understanding of American government. A top-tier reference work for anyone researching federal legislation.
Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Radio. 3v. Ed. by Christopher H. Sterling. 2003. 1,650p. Fitzroy Dearborn, $375 (1-57958-249-4).
If libraries can only afford one major reference work on radio, this is the best choice. By exploring various aspects of radio broadcasting within radio’s historical context, it makes a fantastic complement to a detailed radio program chronicler, but it can also stand alone.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 60v. Ed. by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 2004. Oxford, $13,000 (0-19-861411-X). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography>. [Internet database]. Oxford, contact for pricing [http://www.oxforddnb.com].
Oxford has breathed new life into this reference monument. (Top of the List winner—Reference Source.)
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. 2v. Ed. by Andrew F. Smith. 2004. 1,550p. Oxford, $250 (0-19-515437-1).
We have seen several other resources on food history lately, but this is the first one to offer a particularly American slant. It admirably succeeds in its goal to pull together and make available to a wider audience “the best scholarship on the history of American food.”
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