Reference Reviews | May 1, 2012

1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization. 3d ed. National Geographic. 2012. 352p. ed. by Salim T.S. Al-Hassani. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781426209345. pap. $28. REF

Al-Hassani (mechanical engineering, emeritus, Univ. of Manchester, UK) is chairman of the Foundation of Science, Technology and Civilisation in Manchester, England, which created the 1001 Inventions exhibit at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The official companion to the exhibit, this book addresses the problem of the lack of awareness on the part of many Westerners of how Muslims have contributed to world civilization. It provides a high-quality catalog of technologies invented by Muslims, starting from the early days of Islam and extending through the modern age, divided into seven categories: home, school, market, hospital, town, world, and universe. Chapters are complete with highlights of each invention, biographical information on the luminaries who created them, and several full-color drawings, photographs, or detailed diagrams of complex devices. Significant quotations and helpful sidebars complement the main text. Researchers will find particularly useful the reference section, which lists additional scholarly resources on each invention. Also included are a helpful index and a glossary of Arabic terms. VERDICT Available in Arabic and Turkish, this book will spark the interest of general readers, students, and scholars alike.‚ Justin Parrott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH

starred review starOxford Islamic Studies Online. Oxford Univ.2012. REF

The venerable Oxford Islamic Studies Online (OISO) has recently added new content to its already remarkably rich database of Islamic scholarship. It contains content from major reference resources including The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture, and The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, in addition to chapters from other books, maps and other images, and primary-source documents from the Islamic world. Two translations of the Koran‚ M.A.S. Abdel Haleem’s modern prose version and A.J. Arberry’s verse edition‚ as well as Hanna Kassis’s Koran Concordance are included. OISO also contains a section of educator resources, including lesson plans, thematic guides, a glossary, geographic and Internet resource listings, and the text of Brannon M. Wheeler’s Teaching Islam. The latest update adds 200 new Grove articles, extra primary-source documents, a Regional Spotlight highlighting Southeast Asia, two new thematic guides, and additional lesson plans. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, allowing for both browsing and searching. Searching can be limited to type of material and by era, topic, or region. Articles are all cited, and many offer bibliographies; some contain maps and pictures, although these can also be found in the images and maps section. There are no cross-references from the textual articles to the images, but this is a quibble about a truly splendid resource. VERDICT There is nothing else as complete, easy to use, and relevant for research in Islamic studies as OISO. Indispensible for academic, public, and theological libraries and highly recommended for secondary school libraries.‚ Amanda Sprochi, Univ. of Missouri-Columbia

Zorea, Aharon W. Birth Control. Greenwood. (Health & Medical Issues Today). 2012. 216p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780313362545. $58. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Birth control is not a new topic, but it remains a controversial one. Zorea (history, Univ. of Wisconsin; In the Image of God: A Christian Response to Capital Punishment) posits that the ideological diversity of the United States today makes it difficult to take a side on the issue and encourages viewing it from a variety of perspectives. His historical overview covers types of birth control and their respective controversies, the history of birth control from the American Revolution to World War II, and related U.S. policy since 1945. Then he explores contemporary controversies including consumer protection, government policy, and social impact. The final section presents primary-source documents pertaining to early motivations for and opposition to birth control, excerpts from Supreme Court cases and the Vatican’s Humanae Vitae, and various presidential administrations’ policies regarding birth control and foreign aid. The introductions to the primary documents explain their relevance to the information presented in the first two sections. VERDICT While Laura Friedman’s Birth Control presents adversarial documents, Zorea navigates the issues from a historical perspective in an informative and neutral tone. This excellent overview makes a complex topic understandable and is suitable for general readers and undergraduates.‚ Julia A. Watson, Marywood Univ., Scranton, PA

The following titles are reviewed in the May 1 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.


China at War: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. 2012. 605p. ed. by Xiaobing Li. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598844153. $100. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Richter, William L. Historical Dictionary of the Civil War and Reconstruction. 2d ed. Scarecrow. 2011. 1032p. ed. by Jon Woronoff. bibliog. ISBN 9780810878174. $99. Online: NetLibrary, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia REF

Political Science

Grossman, Mark & Gary C. Bryner. U.S. Land and Natural Resources Policy: A Public Issues Handbook. 2d ed. Grey House. 2012. c.800p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781592376841. $165. Online: Ebrary, Gale, MyILibrary, NetLibrary, OverDriveREF

Leonard, Thomas M. Encyclopedia of U.S.‚ Latin American Relations. 3 vols. CQ Pr. 2012. 1096p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780872897625. $500. Online: CQ Press Electronic Library REF

Social Sciences

Food and Famine in the 21st Century. 2 vols.ABC-CLIO. 2012. 744p. ed. by William A. Dando. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598847307. $189. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Latinos. 3 vols. Salem. (Great Lives from History). 2012. 1056p. ed. by Carmen Tafolla & Martha P. Cotera. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781587658105. $395. Online: Salem History Database REF

The Making of Modern Immigration: An Encyclopedia of People and Ideas. 2 vols.ABC-CLIO. 2012. 828p. ed. by Patrick J. Hayes. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313392023. $189. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Siberia: Economic Potential. Vol. 3.ISBN 9781418785369.

Siberia: Business & Government. Vol 4.ISBN 9781418785376. ea. vol: BIA, Inc. (The Unknown Russia‚ From Macro to Micro). 2012. 814p. ed. by Oleg V. Yuferev. illus. index. pap. $249. REF

The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. 5 vols.Wiley-Blackwell. (SSEZ Blackwell Encyclopedias in Social Sciences). 2012. 2640p. ed. by George Ritzer. index. ISBN 9781405188241. $795. REF


Weiner, I. David & Christine Adamec. The Encyclopedia of Kidney Diseases and Disorders. Facts On File. (Library of Health and Living). 2011. 432p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780816075447. $75. Online: Infobase eBooksREF

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.