Reference Reviews | October 15, 2012

starred review starMapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-Day Saint History. Brigham Young Univ. Oct. 2012. 272p. ed. by Brandon S. Plewe. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780842528252. $39.95. REF

Plewe (geography, Brigham Young Univ.) presentsan informative look into the history and evolution of the Mormon religion from its inception in the early 1800s until today. Each chapter introduction includes a time line listing important events, groups, and people along with their corresponding page numbers. These introductory portions also contain a map of the United States denoting key places discussed within the chapters and their corresponding page numbers. This unusual format makes the information in the chapters easily accessible. Chapters include “The Restoration,” “The Empire of Deseret,” “The Expanding Church,” and “Regional History.” Each entry features a concise heading, a set of dates, descriptive text, one or more maps, and, often, a more intricate time line than the one provided in the introductory materials. The maps track the forward progress of important Mormon leaders such as Joseph Smith. Colorful, strikingly detailed charts and diagrams, showing everything from the average length of a mission trip in the 19th century to the layout of the Mormon headquarters, appear throughout. Following the entries, a short glossary, a detailed bibliography, a comprehensive index, and photo credits appear. VERDICT This thorough resource can stand on its own as a historical, statistical, and geographical account of the Mormon faith from its beginnings. Highly recommended for those wishing to study the origins of Mormonism, its continuing development, and its current place in the world.—Annette Haldeman, Dept. of Legislative Svcs. Lib., Annapolis, MD

Hyslop, Stephen G. & Patricia Daniels. Great Empires: Illustrated Atlas. National Geographic Bks. Nov. 2012. 368p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781426208294. $40. REF

Hyslop and Daniels (co-authors, Almanac of World History) enhance their narrative snapshots of 31 empires in world history with an extensive array of maps, illustrations, photographs, and artwork. They convincingly develop the premise that most successful empires have certain strengths in common: military power, excellent civil servants, first-class communications, and efficacious incorporation of diverse populations. Generalist and encyclopedic rather than scholarly and narrow in its approach and focus, the atlas not only delves into the history of the most famous superpowers and eras, including the Persian dynasties, the Mongols, the Egyptians, the Incas, and the British Empire, but also covers less well-known cultures of North Africa and Southeast Asia. It is divided according to three main eras—the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and modern empires—and concludes with an epilogue on the collapse of modern empires. Included are a comprehensive time line, a bibliography of books and websites, and an index that lists pages with illustrations in bold—a very useful feature. VERDICT Although this is a fine reference work crammed with facts on each page, it can also easily be read cover to cover. An accomplished and sensible resource for students in need of illustrations for reports and patrons looking for a general but informative historic overview of world empires.—Rob Tench, Old Dominion Univ. Lib., Norfolk, VA

Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change. 2d ed. 3 vols. SAGE. 2012. 1720p. ed by S. George Philander. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781412992619. $340. REF

This set, edited by Philander (geosciences, Princeton Univ.; Is the Temperature Rising?: The Uncertain Science of Global Warming), is intended to help non-scientists understand the complexities of climate change. Most of the entries are accessible to a broad range of readers, but some contain technical language. This new edition has 39 more entries than appeared in the 2008 work. Many sections on state universities and their climate programs have been dropped, including those covering the Universities of Kentucky, Delaware, and Illinois, while a number of international conferences and meetings have been added. Other new articles include “Indigenous Communities,” “Fossil Fuels,” “Carbon Offsets,” and more. Almost half of the entries have been updated; some are only minimally altered, while others have been completely rewritten or merged with other entries. Illustrations in the new edition are in grayscale (the previous edition included a color insert) and are effective overall though lacking on subjects without strong color variations, such as clouds, tornados, and some landscapes. The main body of this work has 300 more pages of content than Steven Dutch’s Encyclopedia of Global Warming, with twice as many biographies and 773 topics compared to Dutch’s 535. Entries in both sets include the same basic information with minor variations in presentation, but Philander’s language tends to be more challenging, and his content is more current. VERDICT A solid, comprehensive resource for high school and undergraduate students or those who want more information on climate change.—Susanne Caro, University of Montana Lib., Missoula

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

general reference

The Lincoln Library of Essential Information. 44th ed. Lincoln Lib. Pr. 2012. c.2112p. ed. by Timothy L. Gall & Susan Bevan Gall. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9780912168227. $249. REF


Phillips, Kimberley L. Daily Life During African American Migrations. Greenwood. (Daily Life Through History). 2012. c.225p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313343735. $58. REF

language and linguistics

Merriam-Webster’s Visual Dictionary. 2d ed. Merriam-Webster. Oct. 2012. c.1152p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780877791515. $39.95. REF

political science

Walton, Hanes Jr. & others. The African American Electorate: A Statistical History. 2 vols. CQ Pr. 2012. c.1024p. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9780872895089. $350. REF


Wetland Habitats of North America: Ecology and Conservation Concerns. Univ. of California. 2012. 408p. ed. by Darold P. Batzer and Andrew H. Baldwin. index. ISBN 9780520271647. $125. REF

social sciences

Transformative Tools and Social Advocacy. IGI Global. 2012. $2210. REF

Brunvand, Jan Harold. Encyclopedia of Urban Legends: Updated and Expanded Edition. 2 vols. ABC-CLIO. 2012. 610p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598847208. $173. REF

de Vos, Gail. What Happens Next?: Contemporary Urban Legends and Popular Culture. Libraries Unlimited: ABC-CLIO. 2012. c.242p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598846331. pap. $45. 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.