Reference Reviews & Short Takes, November 1, 2011


Lavin, Stephen J. & others. Atlas of the Great Plains. Univ. of Nebraska. 2011. 335p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9780803215368. $39.95. REF

Lavin (geography, Univ. of Nebraska), Fred M. Shelley (geography, Univ. of Oklahoma), and J. Clark Archer (geography, Univ. of Nebraska) coedited the Atlas of American Politics, 1960‚ 2000. The boundary of the Great Plains they use in this study is that demarcated in David J. Wishart’s Encyclopedia of the Great Plains (Univ. of Nebraska, 2004), to which this atlas is intended as a stand-alone complement. This area encompasses ten U.S. states (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming) and three Canadian provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan). Five adjacent states‚ Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Missouri‚ have also been included. The more than 300 full-color thematic maps are divided into eight topical sections: Land and Environment, History, Population, Rural Settlement and Agriculture, Urban Settlement and Economy, Politics and Government, Recreation and Services, and Social Indicators. They graphically illustrate an astounding array of statistical data from demographics and crop acreage to presidential election results and symphony orchestras. The accompanying text further explores this wealth of information. BOTTOM LINE Whether paired with Wishart’s encyclopedia or not, this distinctive and handsomely produced atlas is highly recommended as an invaluable reference resource for public and academic libraries, and it will enthrall all those with a special interest in North America’s heartland.‚ Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL


Encyclopedia of Sports Management and Marketing. 4 vols.SAGE. 2011. c.1960p. ed. by Linda E. Swayne & Mark Dodds. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781412973823. $630. Online: SAGE Reference Online REF
Swayne (sports marketing & management, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte; Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations) and Dodds (sports marketing & sports law, SUNY at Cortland) clearly had this country’s more than 300 sports-management programs in mind when compiling the approximately 834 entries for this expansive set. In his introduction, Dodds writes that he and Swayne chose topics that the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation has deemed most pertinent to sports management education programs. The introduction is followed by topic and contributor lists, as well as a chronology that highlights significant events in the history of sports from 1403 to the present. Entries, which range in length from a few paragraphs to several pages, are each followed by a list of related topics as well as by suggestions for further reading, including books, professional journals, websites, and magazines. An adequate glossary and resource guide appear in the fourth volume, along with six appendixes that feature the text of relevant legislation and regulations such as the Anabolic Steroid Abuse Act and Title IX. An extensive index concludes the set. BOTTOM LINE This outstanding work is intelligently crafted and perfectly balanced between theory and practice. Anyone interested in the business aspects of sports management and marketing will find the material invaluable. Highly recommended for large academic libraries, especially those supporting sports management programs.‚ Jennifer Michaelson, Cleveland


Black America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia. 2 vols. Greenwood. 2011. 762p. ed. by Alton Hornsby Jr. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313341120. $180. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF
Hornsby (Fuller C. Callaway Professor Emeritus of History, Morehouse Coll.; African Americans in the Post-Emancipation South: The Outsiders’ View) provides an introduction to African American life in all 50 states and the District of Columbia from Colonial times until today. Each state chapter includes a chronology, history, information about notable African Americans and their cultural contributions associated with the state, and a bibliography. The articles, which vary in length from about ten pages (on Alaska) to 20 pages (Louisiana), will be accessible starting at the high school level. The examination of history by state is an intriguing approach that places the subject in a smaller, less-generalized context than that of other works. BOTTOM LINE This set is appropriate for public, academic, and high school libraries and worth adding to a collection if simply for its more specific scope. However, libraries owning Paul Finkelman’s Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619‚ 1895 (2006) and Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present (2009; both Oxford) can likely live without this title.‚ Lura Sanborn, St. Paul’s Sch. Lib., NH

Africa in World History. 216p. maps. ISBN 9780977015993. Big History. 176p. ISBN 9781933782928. ea. vol:Berkshire Pub. (Essentials). 2011. ed. by William H. McNeill & others. illus. index. pap. $29.95. REF
In these two volumes, editors William H. McNeill (history, Univ. of Chicago), Jerry H. Bentley (history, Univ. of Hawaii), David Christian (history, Macquarie Univ., Ewha Womans Univ.), Ralph C. Croizier (history, Univ. of Victoria), J.R. McNeill (history, Georgetown Univ.), Heidi Roupp (former president, World History Assoc.), and Judith P. Zinsser (history, Miami Univ.) add introductory overviews to selected articles distilled from William H. McNeill and others’ Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (2d ed., 2010). The authors, all of whom are academics, generally sacrifice currency to offer broad views of their topics. Big History stakes out vast intellectual territories by dubbing astronomy, biology, and geology historical sciences and considering the development of human cultures as just one end of a story that begins with the Big Bang. The 25 alphabetically arranged articles range in scope from universe, origins of and extinctions to art, Paleolithic, and tropical gardening. The 43 articles in Africa in World History are even more scattershot, e.g., Afro-Eurasia, warfare‚ Africa, Saladin, apartheid, and Du Bois, W.E.B. The same Biological exchanges article appears in both volumes. Along with occasional maps and diagrams, the small but numerous color photos of the source encyclopedia’s online edition are reprinted here in murky black and white. Taken individually, the articles are thoughtful and readable despite dense double columns of tiny type; they are outfitted with both multiple cross-references (backed up by short topical indexes in both volumes) and lavish scholarly resource lists. Nonetheless, in both cases the wholes are less than the sums of their parts. These titles are best considered as supplemental material to the more systematic likes of Christian’s Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (Univ. of California, 2005) and the recent third edition of Erik Gilbert and Jonathan T. Reynolds’s Africa in World History (Prentice Hall). BOTTOM LINE These repackagings offer neither quick access to basic facts and events nor coherent narrative surveys suitable for cover-to-cover reading. The sound, scholarly work is available in previously published resources; it is too limited in depth to be considered as specialized reference material and too arbitrarily organized for general reading.‚ John Peters, formerly with NYPL

The Settlement of America: Encyclopedia of Westward Expansion from Jamestown to the Closing of the Frontier. 2 vols. Sharpe Reference: M.E. Sharpe. 2011. c.700p. ed. by James A. Crutchfield & others. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780765619846. $249. Online: Sharpe Online Reference REF
Crutchfield (The Way West: True Stories of the American Frontier), Candy Moulton (Forts, Fights & Frontier Sites: Wyoming Historic Locations), and Terry A. Del Bene (Images of America: Green River) cover from the first English settlement in 1607 to the closing of the American frontier in 1890. The encyclopedia is primarily organized alphabetically but contains an opening selection of topical essays, a section of documents such as the Northwest Ordinance (1787) and How To Make a Beaver Hat (1807), and a comprehensive bibliography and index following the entries in Volume 2. In the main body of the set, biographies of important figures‚ including politicians, other leaders, and explorers both native and colonist‚ are accompanied by one- to three-page entries on such topics as expeditions, military installments, trails, transportation, and wars, providing a multivariate perspective on the issues of the time. The cross-references following each entry will be useful to students with limited knowledge of the subject matter, as will the brief further-reading list for each topic. Illustrations and pictures appearing throughout enhance and highlight the entries to which they apply. BOTTOM LINE This resource is recommended for high school students looking for a starting point for researching topics concerning a period in American history that is rife with activity, exploration, and discovery. While the encyclopedia discusses topics commonly studied from this period of history, it also details lesser-known events and individuals, helping to provide a more comprehensive view than standard materials on the subject.‚ Annette Haldeman, Dept. of Legislative Svcs., Maryland General Assembly, Annapolis


Sharp, Avery T. & James Michael Floyd. Choral Music: A Research and Information Guide. 2d ed. Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group. (Music Bibliographies). 2011. 377p. index. ISBN 9780415994194. $150. REF
Sharp (Church and Worship Music: A Research and Information Guide) and Floyd (Composers in the Classroom: A Bio-Bibliography of Composers at Conservatories, Colleges, and Universities in the United States), both with Baylor University libraries, have added significantly to this second edition without straying far from their original scope and organization. For example, the material in this book, as in its predecessor, emphasizes inclusiveness over scholarly quality. The second edition covers titles printed or reprinted between 1960 and 2009, accessible using title, author, and subject indexes. Almost all of the 272 new volumes listed were published after 2000 (the cut-off for the first edition). The Studies of Individual Composers and Works chapter has been significantly expanded by the addition of 50 more entries covering 17 more composers, including Gustav Mahler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Choral Music Websites chapter is the most expanded, with a whopping 82 additional sites. While some of the included online resources (e.g., Chadwyck’s International Index to Music Periodicals and ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses) require a subscription, this is not noted in the annotation. BOTTOM LINE This is one of few resources of its kind with a broad focus (others concentrate on a specific time period or geographic area). Unfortunately, its annotations are not critically evaluative, making it difficult for novice users to determine the quality of one resource over another. Still, this specialized resource will be a welcome addition to academic libraries serving undergraduate and graduate students in music.‚ Sarah Sutton, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Corpus Christi


Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. Baker Academic: Baker Bk. House. >Nov. 2011. c.896p. ed. by Joel B. Green. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780801034060. $59.99. REF
Reference shelves are full of texts dedicated to the study of scripture or ethics, but Green (Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary; Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology) here focuses on an important but overlooked niche topic: the relationship between scripture and ethics. The 500 alphabetically arranged essays by an international list of more than 200 leading scholars in the areas of biblical studies and ethics cover topics such as forgiveness, the image of God, discipline, family, evil, and the books of the Bible. Also included are essays on less expected topics, e.g., gene therapy, homosexuality, euthanasia, vegetarianism, and population polices. Each signed article concludes with See also references and a bibliography. Rounding out the volume are three insightful articles providing an introduction to the field, an index of scripture references, and a list of entries. Considerable effort has been given to providing as broad a voice as possible to the subject matter. For example, in addition to an ecumenical list of contributors, the book includes scripture quotes from a variety of versions of the Bible. BOTTOM LINE This dictionary will add to the growing conversation on what guidance the Christian Bible has to offer on modern ethical questions. It is well written, well organized, and broad in scope. This is not a text for general readers; instead, it is a scholarly work aimed at academics, seminarians, and other religious professionals. Highly recommended for academic libraries and seminaries.‚ Jacqueline Parascandola, Columbia Univ. Lib., New York


Encyclopedia of Creativity. 2d ed. 2 vols. Academic. 2011. 1384p. ed. by Mark A. Runco & Steven R. Pritzker. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780123750396. $400. Online: ScienceDirect REF
Based on a reference work first published in 1996, this thoroughly revised edition incorporates 15 years’ worth of research and insights from the rapidly expanding field of creative studies. Runco (child & adolescent studies, California State Univ. at Fullerton; The Dark Side of Creativity) and Pritzker (psychology, Saybrook Univ.) present state-of-the-art surveys of topics such as Critical Thinking, Dreams and Creativity, and the Mad Genius Controversy, as well as considerations of the role of creativity in arts, sports, humor, crime, science, education, religion, and other areas of endeavor. The positive, negative, or ambiguous effects of substance abuse, teamwork, nature vs. nurture, affective disorders, and like complications are also examined. Each of the approximately 185 alphabetically arranged articles opens with a glossary (where appropriate) and overview, follows with a summary, and closes with generous quantities of cross-references and secondary print and web resources. A comprehensive list of creativity tests and an unusually detailed index finish the second volume. Nearly all of the content is new or freshened up; clear acknowledgements note the rare instances of revised or (even more rarely) reprinted articles from the previous edition. The topical articles are interspersed with several dozen biographical profiles‚ all of nonliving figures and all different from those in the first edition‚ chosen as demonstrations of creative success (or, occasionally, failure) in action; examples include Joseph Haydn, Katharine Hepburn, Sara Teasdale, Akira Kurosawa, Margaret Mead, and Otto Rank. BOTTOM LINE Though sex rates only incidental mention and the single article on war is shorter than the one on underachievement, professionals as well as advanced academic students will find here a less well organized but far broader and deeper perspective on the titular concept than that offered in James C. Kaufman and Robert J. Sternberg’s The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (2010).‚ John Peters, formerly with NYPL

Kinnear, Karen L. Women in Developing Countries: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. (Contemporary World Issues). 2011. 348p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598844252. $55. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF
Kinnear (sociologist & professional researcher; Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Reference Handbook, 2d ed.) thoroughly analyzes socioeconomic, political, and legal factors that affect the lives of women in developing economies. A list of developing countries is followed by an overview of life for women in those places in chapters such as Background and History and U.S. Concerns. The chronology chapter covers world events that affected women’s rights and status from 1919 to 2011, and the concise entries in Biographies give specific details about the contributions of some of the better-known women involved in politics, social activism, education, and other areas. Facts and Data outlines international and regional conventions, protocols, statutes, and declarations and includes several tables of statistics about the condition of women in developing nations. Each chapter ends with a list of references that includes a mixture of journal articles, agency reports, and websites. The last third of the book is a directory of organizations and selection of print and nonprint resources. BOTTOM LINE This reference handbook contains a wealth of information and will be a useful addition to academic libraries, especially in schools with women’s studies or international affairs programs.‚ Diane Fulkerson, Univ. of South Florida‚ Polytechnic, Lakeland


Alderton, David. The Cat Selector: How To Choose the Right Cat for You. Barron’s. 2011. c.176p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780764164248. $24.99. REF
Alderton (You and Your Cockapoo) divides this slender, oversized reference into 16 thematically organized minichapters, detailing cat colors, patterns, and breeds. A representative breed image accompanies each entry and is annotated to indicate distinctive characteristics. The final chapter poses questions and presents a scoring system that facilitates informed decisions about the type of cat appropriate for specific criteria. Prefacing the brief further-reading list is a useful glossary that makes cat-specific markings, colors, and genetic terms readily understandable. With its annotated and open layout, this family-friendly guide will satisfy parents’ desire for factual detail while also appealing to children’s interest in visuals.

Dortort, Fred. The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World: A Comprehensive Reference to More than 2000 Species. Timber. 2011. c.344p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780881929959. $49.95. REF
Sure to be valuable for botanists and gardening enthusiasts, this comprehensive survey of 2000 succulent types is divided into 30 genus-titled segments. Each of these essay-style chapters is studded with full-color photos of the many species discussed, specifying their geographical location, physical description, reproductive characteristics, comparable species, and pest susceptibilities. Vital suggestions on soil requirements and frequency of soil changes are outlined for indoor growers. A 36-title further-reading list offers more genera-specific monographs, published internationally within the last two decades. This guide surpasses Maurizio Sajeva and Mariangela Costanzo’s 1997 Succulents: The Illustrated Dictionary(Timber).

Farmers’ Almanac for the Year 2012. Almanac. 2011. c.232p. ed. by Peter Geiger & Sondra Duncan. illus. maps. ISBN 9781928720119. pap. $6.95. REF
This traditional guide offers forecasts for the coming winter and spring seasons. In addition to regionally segmented maps forecasting a “cold and stormy” season and a textual postmortem of last year’s prediction, the guide is filled with household hints, amusing brainteasers, and absorbing trivia. A four-page, illustrated segment on cloud varieties, a by-state chart of peak leaf-peeping periods, and an extensive section on astrology and moon phases further broadens its appeal. As a handy planning tool for gardeners and homesteaders, this fascinating, folksy guide offers the practical tips and cerebral entertainment necessary to keep readers returning.

Miller, Judith. Miller’s Antiques Handbook & Price Guide, 2012‚ 2013. Mitchell Beazley: Octopus, dist. by Hachette. 2011. c.648p. illus. index. ISBN 9781845336387. $45. REF
Miller (Miller’s Costume Jewelry) updates her stunning guide with revised prices and new items, some of which have appeared on Antiques Road Show. The book consists of 23 major categories defined by object composition or use, such as “metalware” or “textiles.” Pages are divided into seven to nine shadow box‚ style segments, each featuring a crisp object photograph, the item’s dimensions, its current value, and a succinct description. Half-page sidebars, highlighting items “Judith Picks,” offer a brief history of featured objects and an explanation of their exceptional quality. Although this is a best-of resource, not covering attic knickknacks, it is an alluring look book with inherent educational value.

The New York State Directory, 2011/2012. Grey House. 2011. c.1014p. ed. by Richard Gottlieb. index. ISBN 9781592377442. pap. $145. Online: Grey House: Ebrary, Gale, MyILibrary, NetLibrary, OverDrive REF
A sister publication to Profiles of New York State(reviewed below), this guide offers a perfect-bound rolodex to governmental and professional contacts. Gottlieb (Directory of Mail Order Catalogs) divides the contents into eight major segments, including government branches, specific legislative divisions, municipal authorities, political and media organizations, and educational institutions. No-frills entries present agency names, their principal administrators, and contact information in a logically ordered, easy-to-find format. Legislator biographies provide readers with officials’ election years, professional backgrounds, phone numbers, and email addresses. Appendixes offer at-a-glance statistics on home values, population ethnicities, and educational statistics. A vital addition to New York State public libraries and geographically adjacent institutions.

Profiles of New York State, 2011/2012. Grey House. 2011. ed. by David Garoogian. illus. maps. ISBN 9781592377466. pap. $149. Online: Grey House: Ebrary, Gale, MyILibrary, NetLibrary, OverDrive REF
The most comprehensive reference currently available on the subject, this update to the 2009 edition presents New York State by way of objective numbers rather than pictures or essays. Garoogian (Weather America) includes an extensive user’s guide then divides the state into seven statistical concerns: by-county alphabetized place profiles, general population demographics reflecting 2010 census data, educational rankings, population ethnicities, and a more detailed exploration of Hispanic and Asian citizenry’s economic standings. Rounding out the book are charts depicting climate fluctuations, along with full-color maps related to political districts and population concentrations. An essential snapshot of a state and its people, if one that will date rapidly.

Sports Market Place Directory, 2011. Grey House. 2011. c.2367p. ed. by Laura Mars-Proietti. index. ISBN 9781592377527. pap. $225. Online: Grey House: Ebrary, Gale, MyILibrary, NetLibrary, OverDrive REF
This substantial, softcover reference‚ also available in database format‚ collects contacts for every aspect of the lucrative sports industry. Mars-Proietti (HMO/PPO Directory) divides the information into ten major segments. First profiled are professional sports organizations, from arm wrestling to yachting. The chapters that follow list executive contacts for sports libraries and museums, collegiate teams, media outlets, sponsors, agents and legal services, equipment manufacturers and retailers, professional events, and consumer statistics. Indexes facilitate location of information based on a specific term, executive surname, or geographical location. An essential addition to any sport or consumer-related collection.

The Yeasts: A Taxonomic Study. 5th ed. 3 vols. Elsevier Science. 2011. c.2354p. ed. by Cletus P. Kurtzman & others. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780444521491. $360. Online: ScienceDirect REF
To facilitate identification of yeasts for industrial, pharmaceutical, and biochemical applications, this fully updated edition presents the latest discoveries in yeast propagation and morphology. Kurtzman (National Ctr. for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Svc., U.S. Dept. of Agriculture), Jack W. Fell (Rosenstiel Sch. of Marine & Atmospheric Science, Univ. of Miami), and Teun Boekhout (CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Ctr., Utrecht, Netherlands), along with 73 scholarly contributors, outline the taxa, characteristics, and practical uses of roughly 1500 yeasts under the Ascomycete and Basidiomycete phyla. Although recently published, single-volume paperbacks‚ such as Horst Feldmann’s Yeast: Molecular and Cell Biology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)‚ also cover the fungus’s varied genetic profiles, this meticulously detailed, three-volume set with its carefully annotated illustrations and phylograms will prove most essential to biotechnology and pharmaceutical collections.‚ Savannah Schroll Guz, formerly with Smithsonian Libs., Washington, DC

Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma is Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore, and was formerly the reviews editor at Library Journal.