Coulter, Michael L. & others. Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. Volume 3 Supplement. Scarecrow Pr. 2012. c.413p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810882669. $85. REF
Following Volumes 1 and 2, which were released in 2007, this book aims to fill informational gaps and explicate the Church’s perspective on new controversies, including scientific advances and related moral concerns. Coulter (Family in America), Richard S. Myers (Thomas Aquinas), and Joseph A. Varacalli (Bright Promise) gather the research of nearly 120 field specialists. Also covered in the alphabetically organized, multiparagraph entries are figures who have shaped or opposed Catholic social thought, such as Albert Camus and Richard Dawkins. VERDICT Occasionally, subtle editorializing accompanies explanations of Church perspective. Otherwise, this is a valuable, accessible guide to Church principles as they relate to specific issues and people.
Haa Léelk’w Hás Aaní Saax’ú: Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land. Sealaska. Jul. 2012. c.200p. ed. by Thomas F. Thornton. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9780295988580. pap. $30. REF
In this praiseworthy volume, Thornton (Being and Place Among the Tlingit) elevates and seeks to preserve the forgotten or misconstrued native southeastern Alaskan place names that are so vital to the indigenous people’s identity and geographical location system. The introduction explains how these aboriginal names were suppressed and explores their phonics system. The book, which is the result of a collaboration with native communities, is then divided into 11 chapters that are organized by native-named territory and packed with community-based documentary research. The frequent inclusion of maps clarifies the geographical descriptions provided within chapter texts, while images of artifacts and tribal icons provide a more three-dimensional understanding of resident cultures. Verdict An essential subject guide.
Hudson’s Washington News Media Contacts Directory 2012. 45th ed. Grey House. 2012. c.281p. ed. by Laura Mars. index. ISBN 9781592378531. pap. $289. REF
This fully updated, perfect-bound compilation listing the 4650 media contacts of Washington, DC, is divided into seven major segments, including News Services, Foreign News, and Radio and TV Stations. Multiple indexes facilitate entry location in five ways, such as by entry name, personnel surname, or beat. Newspapers with DC bureaus located outside the Beltway are also included. Entries run several column inches each and detail each organization’s street address, phone number, website address, social networking accounts, and editor or correspondent email addresses. VERDICT An indispensable reference for collections accessed by public information specialists, lobbyists, and political advisors.
Nations of the World: A Political, Economic, and Business Handbook. 11th ed. Grey House. 2012. 1997p. ed. by Richard Gottlieb. illus. maps. ISBN 9781592377602. pap. $225. REF
Gottlieb (Directory of Mail Order Catalogs) has compiled a truly stunning go-to reference with this fully updated edition. Entries are organized alphabetically by nation name and run approximately ten pages in length each. They open with a political map and a sidebar of 17 fundamental nation facts such as official name, ruling party, and population count. Well-crafted, objectively expressed essays are punctuated by helpful subheadings covering everything from energy concerns and international rivalries to urban transport methods and professional dress codes. Tables present comparative data for 14 economic indicators, including GDP and exports, for each year between 2006 and 2010. VERDICT An informative, accessible resource that will prove valuable in general collections.
Wallis, Joe. Regiments of All Nations: Britains Limited Lead Soldiers 1946‚ 66. 8th ed. Joe Wallis. Sept. 2012. c.415p. illus. index. ISBN 9780983837800. $60. REF
Wallis’s (Britains Ltd. Lead Soldiers 1925‚ 1941) guide to Britains Limited hollowcast lead soldiers had been out of print since 2002. This new edition contains fully updated descriptions and a new segment on jockeys. Perhaps most significant is that full-color item photographs replace previous editions’ black-and-white images. Made up of seven chapters, the book includes ten pages of regimental identification hints and a concise company narrative, which explains historical influences on production. Arranged by original catalog number, the entries describe pose, decoration, manufacturing date, and related products. VERDICT For Britains Limited collectors, this is the most detailed, up-to-date reference available within this two-decade date range.
Weiss Ratings, Inc. Weiss Ratings Guide to Property and Casualty Insurers: Spring 2012. 72d ed. Grey House. (Financial Ratings). 2012. c.437p. illus. ISBN 9781592379064. pap. $249. REF
Weiss (Consumer Guide to Variable Annuities), an independent ratings company, releases perfect-bound evaluations of financial and insurance institutions quarterly. Like a report card, its grading scale is letter-based, from A to E, with plus or minus gradations. This seven-chapter book opens with 120 pages of tables that present each alphabetized insurer’s grade and its score on 22 determining variables. Afterward, an expansive chapter offers more detailed company analytics expressed in graphs and explanatory text. Closing chapters organize Weiss’s recommended companies first by state and then by grade. VERDICT Well organized and comprehensible, this is an extremely valuable, if rapidly obsolescent, guide for consumers.
Weiss Ratings, Inc. Weiss Ratings Guide to Life and Annuity Insurers: Spring 2012. 87th ed. Grey House. (Financial Ratings). 2012. c.330p. illus. ISBN 9781592378982. pap. $249. REF
Like the publisher’s Guide to Property and Casualty Insurers (see the review, above), this volume, part of a quarterly published series, offers solvency evaluations for specialized insurance companies. Six chapters make up the book, which opens with tables detailing 22 data variables employed to determine the letter grade assigned to each alphabetized company. Chapter 2 offers a more detailed analysis of larger corporations, with alphabetized entries explaining ratings via graphs, charts, and brief explications. Closing chapters present Weiss’s recommended companies, by-state and by-grade listings, and written clarifications of upgrades and downgrades. VERDICT Like its sister publications, this highly informative guide makes complicated data accessible and thereby empowers consumers.—Savannah Schroll-Guz, formerly with Smithsonian Inst. Libs.