Short Takes | December 15, 2005

By LJ Staff

Immigration and Asylum: From 1900 to Present. 3 vols. ABC-CLIO. 2005. 1100p. ed. by Matthew J. Gibney & Randall Hansen. index. ISBN 1-57607-796-9. $310. ref

At a time when anti-immigration sentiment seems to be the norm not just across this country but in many other Western nations, it is easy to forget that immigrants – asylum seekers in particular – significantly shaped the cultures of their adopted homelands. This A-to-Z set provides a detailed study of the history and current status of immigrants across the globe, centering on four themes: immigration and asylum, major migrating groups around the world, expulsions and other forced population movements, and politics of migration. Immigration facts are not easy to locate online, so this subject area is still valuable in paper format.

Miller, Judith. Antiques Price Guide 2006. DK. 2005. 752p. photog. index. ISBN 0-7566-1336-1. $35. ref

Odd but true: although we are living in an era of great political and economic volatility, we are ever so enthusiastic about shopping and decorating our homes. Antiques not only beautify the interiors but can be great investments as well.In this glossy price guide, Miller, who has published 80 books on the subject, describes over 8000 antiques in great detail, offering practical tips on where and how to buy and sell. The guide’s price is right, too.

Pollock, Bruce. Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs of the Rock and Roll Era: 1944 – 2000. 2d ed. Routledge. 2005. 687p. index. ISBN 0-415-97073-3. $125. ref

This update of the 1997 edition by music producer Pollock stretches the definition of rock’n'roll as far as possible, encompassing not only the obvious genres like the 1950s rock’n'roll, Motown, and Heavy Metal but also R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rap, among many others. With fun-to-read entries on some 7500 "important" rock songs, it truly is a powerhouse of information. Take, for example, the greatest of them all (according to Rolling Stone magazine, anyway), Bob Dylan’s "Like a Rolling Stone." The entry includes the artist, writer, album, label, producer, year, and a succinct paragraph boasting such adjectives as "verbose" and "incandescent" and such comments as "covered, at long last, by the Rolling Stones… but it was a letdown."

Willis, Jim & Barbara Willis. Armageddon Now: The End of the World A to Z. Visible Ink. 2005. 450p. photog. index. ISBN 0-7808-0923-8. $58. ref

Is it the end of the world as we know it? According to a considerable minority in this country alone, the end just may be near. How else can we explain the mind-boggling popularity of such prophets as Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce? If your library caters to the converted, you may consider purchasing this A-to-Z overview of the history of apocalyptic beliefs. In 200 entries, the Willises (The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers) tackle such topics as collisions with asteroids, nuclear war, global warming, and more. Another title to consider is Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger’s forthcoming Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier (Visible Ink. Jan. 550p. ISBN 1-5785-9174-0. pap. $25.95)an A-to-Z of 300 people, places, and events that remain "shrouded in mystery in spite of official explanations."Mirela Roncevic

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