O’Dea, Suzanne. From Suffrage to the Senate: America’s Political Women; An Encyclopedia of Leaders, Causes & Issues. 2d ed. 2 vols. Grey House. 2013. 1520p. ISBN 9781619250109. $225. REF
O’Dea (Madam Chairman: Mary Louise Smith and the Republican Revival After Watergate; Legislators and Politicians: Iowa’s Women Lawmakers) did an excellent job updating the 2007 previous edition of this work. Her introduction provides an overview of the ever-expanding role of American women in politics, and the entries that follow include coverage of people, legislation, court decisions, organizations, and legal and social issues from the Colonial period to the 21st century. This broad range allows researchers to obtain background information on a number of leaders, causes, and issues that shaped and continue to shape women’s roles in American politics. Each entry ends with a list of cross-references and sources. The second volume offers a lengthy bibliography and two appendixes: the first provides a list of documents arranged by topic starting with women’s rights and ending with women in the military, and the other presents several tables of facts and statistics followed by a chronology that begins in 1638 with the banishing of Anne Hutchinson from Massachusetts and ends with the Pentagon’s 2013 lifting of the ban on women serving in combat. VERDICT A wonderful addition to reference collections.—Diane Fulkerson, Univ. of South Florida, Lakeland
Cole, Brandon & Scott Michael. Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life. Firefly. Jun. 2013. 616p. photogs. maps. index. ISBN 9781770851900. $35. REF
A tsunami of color photos drowns the eye in this nifty combination of a serious text introducing tropical marine ecosystems and a field guide to hundreds of ray-finned fish, elasmobranchs, marine mammals and reptiles, and dozens of the invertebrates to be found in said ecosystems. Covering the “coral belt” that girds our planet, the essays on mangrove forests, antipredation behaviors, mimic octopuses, and the vagaries of marine sex life among reef dwellers do an admirable job of opening windows into this watery world. There are maps of coral areas from the Maldives to French Polynesia to the Eastern Caribbean Sea, giving divers a paragraph or two of what to expect when planning the vacation of a lifetime. The sections resembling a bird-book (which offer bright color photos) will be helpful in identifying what a diver sees (or photographs), with a text giving basic information on size, location, common names and Latin classification, and interesting tidbits: Cole explains that the masked moray eel, for instance, “regularly bites a hand resting near its hideout” and the yellowtail fangblenny can be “found in the open because of venomous fangs used to bite predators in the mouth if ingested.” The book ends with a plea for the conservation of these tropical ecosystems, which are already under severe pressure from human activities and Earth’s changing weather systems. The index can be a bit puzzling. There are listings for sea slugs, but lionfish entries are species–specific. And monk seals may be found under seals, monk seals, and Caribbean monk seals. A list of references is included. VERDICT All in all, this hefty book will be sought after by those doing research on coral communities around the world and by those seeking to identify creatures they have glimpsed on dives or hope to see the next time. Useful, eye-catching, and dealing with a topic dear to the hearts of many.—Patricia Manning, formerly with Eastchester P.L., NY
Human Geography: People and the Environment. Gale Cengage. 2 vols. 2013. 800p. ed. by K. Lee Lerner. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781414491356. $270. REF
This set explores on a global level “the impact of human habitation and economic activity on the environment” and investigates how environmental features have affected the development of human society. The text emphasizes its ability to assist with the advanced placement (AP) human geography course and exam. Its 200-plus articles were written by AP teachers. Articles are arranged thematically and follow a standard format: introduction, topic history and related science, and, finally, a helpful current-applications section. The volume features a generous number of color maps and images. Examples of themes include “Fundamentals of Human Geography,” “Political Geography,” “Economic and Industrial Geography,” and “Urban Geography.” Comparable titles include Wiley-Blackwell’s Dictionary of Human Geography (5th ed., 2009), which provides much shorter introductions to concepts in the field. The standard for the subject may well be Elsevier’s International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, but that work’s several-thousand-dollar price tag ensures that, while it is important, it is unattainable for most institutions, especially those concerned with AP exams. This new title then is an excellent fit for those seeking current, affordable, well-thought-out articles in the field of human geography. VERDICT This excellent information is on point inside a slick, colorful, presentation; the book offers material on topics that are important to understanding and participating in human culture. Appropriate for academic, school, and public libraries.—Lura Sanborn, St. Paul’s Sch. Lib., Concord, NH
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The following titles are reviewed in the June 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–2012. SAGE. 2012. 562p. ed. by Clare Cushman. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781608718320. $135. REF
Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions. M.E. Sharpe. 2 vols. 2012. 800p. ed. by Raphael Patai & Haya Bar-Itzak. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780765620255. $299. REF
Black, Brian C. & others. Climate Change: An Encyclopedia of Science and History. 4 vols. ABC-CLIO. 2013. 1774p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598847611. $399. REF
Stokes, Donald & Lillian Stokes. The New Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region. 512p. ISBN 9780316213936.
Stokes, Donald & Lillian Stokes. The New Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Western Region. 592p. maps. ISBN 9780316213929. ea. vol: Little, Brown. 2013. photogs. maps. pap. $19.99. REF
Newton, David. Marijuana: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. ( Contemporary World Issues). 2013. 330p. photogs. ISBN 9781610691499. $58. REF