Reference Reviews, June 15, 2012

Walters, Kerry. The Underground Railroad: A Reference Guide. ABC-CLIO. (Guides to Historic Events in America). 2012. 226p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598846478. $58. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Walters (philosophy, Gettysburg Coll.; The Sane Society: Benjamin Franklin and His Gods) introduces the men and women who used peaceful means to combat slavery in America, acknowledging that the literature on the Underground Railroad is vast…. [T]his volume aims to do little more than offer readers an introduction to the movement. He describes the railroad, a system of escape routes for slaves fleeing from the South into the northern United States and Canada as civil disobedience…against the abomination of slavery. The title opens with a chronology spanning 1619, when the first slaves were brought to America at Jamestown, VA, to the end of the railroad in 1870. The introduction discusses legal issues such as those relating to the U.S. Constitution, the Fugitive Slave Acts, and related laws. The remaining five chapters, each of which offers a source list, discuss many of the reasons for and means and personalities of the movement. The biographies section contains brief profiles of, for example, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Henry Bibb, and Daniel Drayton. The annotated bibliography has numerous print and nonprint sources listed. VERDICT Owing to the decades’ worth of material analyzed here, this historical reference work will make a suitable guide and starting point for students and general readers alike. Secondary and other general collections should consider it for purchase.‚ David Alperstein, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY

Habeeb, William Mark. The Middle East in Turmoil: Conflict, Revolution, and Change. Greenwood. 2012. 227p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313339141. $89. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Habeeb (Georgetown Univ. Sch. of Foreign Svc.; Turkmenistan; Egypt; Iran; Arab Americans) aims to provide a brief history of the evolution of Middle Eastern politics and then assess [a particular country’s or region’s] potential sources of internal conflicts and division as well as its external conflicts. The text explores the complex relationships of history, religion, ethnicity, and politics that have existed in this area of the world for centuries. The author goes to great lengths to explain the role of the United States in the conflicts in Middle Eastern nations and helps readers understand those countries’ reactions to U.S. involvement, providing much food for thought. VERDICT Habeeb’s viewpoint is fairly evenhanded and accessible to lay readers. His clear portrayal of the situations and the countries involved will appeal most to those seeking a broader understanding of the Middle East, past and present. It is also suitable for those trying to understand where the region is headed.‚ Christine Sharbrough, Derry P.L., NH

They Eat That?: A Cultural Encyclopedia of Weird and Exotic Food from Around the World. ABC-CLIO. 2012. 234p. ed. by Jonathan Deutsch with Natalya Murakhver. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313380587. $89. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

In this encyclopedia, Deutsch (culinary arts, Kingsborough Community Coll.) and food writer Murakhver cover foods that are not commonly eaten, focusing mainly on the U.S. diet. Foods from crawfish and head cheese to kangaroo and insects are described, and there are lists of common uses and further reading. Sometimes, in the case of, for example, rustic French rabbit stew, durian cookies, and fermented walrus flipper, a recipe is also featured. While some entries go for shock value, such as the one mentioning dog meat and a discussion of cannibalism, most lean toward factual, less sensationalized information. Other pieces discuss foods that are common in some parts of the United States, such as goat and cactus. VERDICT This book will appeal to curious connoisseurs and may also appeal to reference browsers looking for something different and to the occasional person looking for the gross-out factor. It is also recommended for adventurous chefs, both professional and amateur.‚ Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen, Oregon Inst. of Technology, Portland

The following titles are reviewed in the June 15 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.

General reference

The World Book Encyclopedia 2012. 22 vols. World Book: Scott Fetzer. 2011. c.14000p. ed. by World Book. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780716601128. $979. REF

MacLeod, Don. How To Find Out Anything: From Extreme Google Searches to Scouring Government Documents, a Guide to Uncovering Anything About Everyone and Everything. Prentice-Hall. Aug. 2012. c.256p. index. ISBN 9780735204676. pap. $20. REF

Health & Medicine

Asthma Sourcebook. 3d ed. Omnigraphics. (Health Reference). 2011. 600p. ed. by Sandra J. Judd. illus. index. ISBN 9780780812246. $95. Online: Credo Reference, ebrary, Gale, MyiLibrary, Rittenhouse R2 Digital Library REF


The Twenties in America. 3 vols. Salem. (Decades). 2012. 1100p. ed. by Carl Rollyson. photogs. index. ISBN 9781587658556. $395. Online: Salem History database, eBooks on EBSCOhost, Follett Library Resources, ebrary, Gale Virtual Reference Library, MyiLibrary, Overdrive REF

Language & Linguistics

Fogarty, Mignon. Grammar Girl’s 101 Troublesome Words You’ll Master in No Time. Griffin: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2012. c.144p. illus. ISBN 9780312573478. pap. $5.99. REF

Social Sciences

Blue-Collar Pop Culture: From NASCAR to Jersey Shore. 2 vols. Praeger. 2012. 714p. ed. by M. Keith Booker. index. ISBN 9780313391989. $131. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Dobson, David. Genealogy at a Glance: Scottish Genealogy Research. ISBN 9780806318738.

Larson, Denise R. Genealogy at a Glance: French-Canadian Genealogy Research. ISBN 9780806318707.

McGinnis, Carol. Genealogy at a Glance: Michigan Genealogy Research. ISBN 9780806318882.

Mitchell, Brian. Genealogy at a Glance: Irish Genealogy Research. ISBN 9780806318707. ea. vol: Genealogical. (Genealogy at a Glance). 2012. c.4p. pap. $8.95. REF

Goldman, Herbert G. Boxing: A Worldwide Record of Bouts and Boxers. 4 vols. McFarland. 2012. 1752p. bibliog. ISBN 9780786460540. pap. $195. REF

Wallechinsky, David & Jaime Loucky. The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2012 Edition. Aurum, dist. by Trafalgar Square. Jul. 2012. 1300p. illus. ISBN 9781845136956. pap. $35. REF

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.