Reference Reviews, September 15, 2012

Historical Dictionary of the Beat Movement. Scarecrow. (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts). 2012. c.394p. bibliog. ISBN 9780810871892. $95. REF Online: eBooks on EBSCOhost, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia

A forward, preface, and brief introduction are followed here by Varner’s (English, Abilene Christian Univ.; Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Literature) 304-page dictionary and extensive bibliography that present the Beat Movement as a radical, innovative, self-perpetuating aesthetic that continues today. The author describes his selection of information as suggestive rather than comprehensive; still, major Beat writers, themes, and works are emphasized, with cross-references guiding readers to connections and relationships among them. Entries are generally shorter than encyclopedia articles, although some fill several pages. The book is like a pared-down version of Dictionary of Literary Biography: The Beats: A Documentary Volume (Gale, 2001) minus the photographs, excerpts, and anecdotes. VERDICT Students and others who are curious about Beat literature will enjoy browsing through this book as a starting point for understanding the era. A useful, compact introduction to Beats and their works.—Margaret Myhre, Foley Ctr. Lib., Gonzaga Univ., Spokane, WA

Roberts, Robert North & others. Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues, and Platforms: The Complete Encyclopedia. 3 vols. Greenwood. 2012. 1241p. ISBN 9780313380921. $294. REF Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection

The first volume of this largely objective work offers alphabetically arranged articles on “Slogans, Issues, Programs, Personalities and Strategies,” the bulk of which cover topics such as “NASCAR Dad,” “Soccer Mom,” “I Like Ike,” and “Fireside Chat.” Also provided there are a “Timeline of Campaigns and Significant Moments,” a subject guide with headings such as “Disputed Elections” (such as the 2000 campaign) and “Elections of Notable Cultural Importance.” Most major historical figures are not listed in this first volume; they are found in the other two books, which offer chronologically arranged entries on campaigns from 1788-89 to 1908 and from 1912 to 2008. This arrangement will cause users to flip back and forth among volumes in the process of their research, and the biographical information is sparse. However, the campaign coverage is thorough and easy to understand, running the better part of ten pages per campaign. Volume 3 also features a useful table of “Major Party Platforms Since 1840.” VERDICT A comprehensive research tool for college students and other users who are interested in political history. —Beth Bland, West Allis, WI

Docherty, James C. & Sjaak van der Velden. Historical Dictionary of Organized Labor. 3d ed. Scarecrow. (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements). 2012. c.496p. bibliog. ISBN 9780810861961. $125. REF Online: eBooks on EBSCOhost, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia

Docherty and van der Velden are not only researchers but also former active members of unions. Consequently, they are able to provide broad, authentic, and credible views of labor movements. Their aims here are to make the subject of organized labor as accessible as possible, to show the variety of labor studies available, and to encourage a greater international outlook on the topic. Designed as a starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about labor, the work examines the history of organized labor through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, a glossary of terms, an extensive bibliography with relevant websites, and almost 500 cross-referenced entries on countries, national and international organizations, major unions, leaders, and other aspects of the movement, such as changes in membership composition. The entries, which emphasize 20th-century and current information, are well written and informative, while the appendixes and bibliography are comprehensive and lengthy. VERDICT This is a useful first resource for researchers and general readers, and one that is especially strong on topics of historical significance and international interest. Enough new material has been added to this incarnation to make it a worthwhile purchase for owners of the older editions.—Rob Tench, Old Dominion Univ. Lib., Norfolk, VA

The following titles are reviewed in the September 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


starred review starBénézit, Emmanuel. Benezit Dictionary of British Graphic Artists and Illustrators: 2 vols. Oxford Univ. 2012. c.1344p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199923052. $295. REF


Laramie, Michael G. The European Invasion of North America: Colonial Conflict Along the Hudson-Champlain Corridor, 1609–1760. Praeger. 2012. 567p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313397370. $58. REF Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection


Dell, Christopher. Mythology: The Complete Guide to Our Imagined Worlds. Thames & Hudson, dist. by Norton. Sept. 2012. c.352p. illus. ISBN 9780500516157. $40. REF


Worldmark Encyclopedia of U.S. and Canadian Environmental Issues. Gale Cengage. 2012. 600p. ed. by Susan Bevan Gall & Margaret K. Antone. photogs. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781414490885. $160. REF Online: Gale Virtual Reference Library

Social Sciences

Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce. 2nd. ed. 2 vols. Gale Cengage. 2012. 882p. ed. by Laurie J. Fundukian. ISBN 9780787690991. $485. REF Online: Gale Virtual Reference Library

Mexico Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic. ABC-CLIO. 2012. c.728p. ed. by Alex M.Saragoza, Ana Paula Ambrosi & Silvia D. Zárate. ISBN 9780313349485. $189. 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.