Reference Reviews | November 1, 2012

starred review star The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. 4th ed. Princeton Univ. 2012. 1639p. ed. by Roland Greene & others. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691154916. pap. $49.50. REF

Ever since the first edition of this work, in 1965, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics has been a comprehensive and authoritative reference work valued by students, teachers, and poets. Its intention has been to be worldwide in scope, concerning the “history, theory, technique and criticism of poetry from the earliest times to the present.” Entries have included terms and concepts; genres and forms; periods, schools, and movements; the poetry of nations, regions, and languages; and poetry in relation to other cultural forms, disciplines, and social practices such as linguistics, religion, and science. This new edition edited by Greene (English & comparative literature, Stanford Univ.) and others includes 1100 entries that range from brief overviews to in-depth essays of 15,000 words, including 250 new entries and many revised and “reconceived” ones. Among the new entries are discussions of the Black Mountain school; écriture; fractal verse; gay, lesbian, and Nuyorican poetry; poiësis; poetry slams; Bosnian poetry; popular and modern poetry of China; and much more. The bibliographies included with each essay are also fully updated. Contributors come from major colleges and universities worldwide. ­VERDICT This edition will be welcomed by all readers of poetry. It provides so many new essays and updates, and, finally, has an index, which is useful as the Encyclopedia does not include entries on individual poets, but rather discusses them in the context of the larger topics to which they are related. Also beneficial is the new page layout that is easier to read and more conducive to browsing, Highly recommended.—Marcia Welsh, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, NH

Maxymuk, John. NFL Head Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary, 1920–2011. McFarland. 2012. 436p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780786465576. pap. $49.95. REF

Football and statistics lovers will light up with pleasure when reading this book. While trawling the Internet will bring up much of the same information, as will studying the approximately 150 articles, books, and websites that Maxymuk (reference librarian, Paul Robeson Lib., Rutgers Univ.; Quarterback Abstract) consulted during his research, this text gathers all the information in one place under the heading of each coach’s name. The resource covers an exclusive club: 466 men who served as the head coach for a team in the National Football League or the two leagues that merged into it. Maxymuk answers three questions about each coach: Who was he? What was his approach to coaching and his style in terms of leadership and tactics? How successful was he? Each entry begins with biographical information followed by each coach’s yearly regular season and postseason coaching record. Maxymuk then uses specially created statistical formulas to evaluate each coach’s tendencies in scoring, defense, and play calling. In addition to providing names, dates, and statistics, the author is not adverse to adding a little football color. As a Chicago Bears fan, this reviewer was delighted to read former Bears coach Mike Ditka’s comment that former team owner George Halas “[threw] around nickels like manhole covers” (i.e., that he was cheap). For each year Ditka coached, the reader sees a chart with the name of the team or teams coached, number of games, wins and losses, percentages, etc. The book contains an appendix ranking the coaches (using Maxymuk’s custom-made analysis) who coached more than 55 games, and another for those who coached fewer than that. Many an argument will be easily settled with this ­material. VERDICT Recommended for anyone who loves football or needs to settle bets over the family dinner table, as well as for libraries of any type.—Susan L. Peters, Univ. of Texas, Galveston

Mockaitis, Thomas R. The Iraq War: A Documentary and Reference Guide. Greenwood. (Documentary and Reference Guides). 2012. 345p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780313343872. $100. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Mockaitis (history, DePaul Univ., Chicago; Iraq and the Challenge of Counterinsurgency) provides context and analysis for documents that trace the history of the most recent Iraq War. The 97 documents are organized in chapters such as “The Case for War,” “Shock and Awe,” “Reconstruction,” “From Conventional to Unconventional War,” and “The Rough Road to Democracy.” The material is largely from U.S. government sources, but media outlets and other nations’ documents are also represented. Each chapter begins with a one- to three-paragraph introduction and includes scattered insets with background information on relevant people or organizations; each document is given an equally short introduction and is identified by number, title, date, location, and significance. Following every piece is a citation and a one- or two-paragraph analysis. The author presents critical readings of the documents, making connections and assertions that are sometimes controversial, giving readers a greater understanding of the relationship among the events and the records discussed. Along with the volume’s opening discussion on the nature of historical inquiry, these analyses can introduce students to the processes used to understand historical events. A list of resources includes websites, blogs, official publications, books, and articles. VERDICT Mockaitis’s excellent source of information on this long conflict is highly recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries supporting history or political science programs.—Rosanne M. Cordell, Northern Illinois Univ. DeKalb

The following titles are reviewed in the November 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World. 3d ed. National Geographic Bks. 2012. 160p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781426209512. pap. $26.95. Ref


Zheng, Robert Z. & others. Engaging Older Adults with Modern Technology: Internet Use and Information Access Needs. IGI-Global. 2012. 420p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781466619661. $175. Online: InfoSci-onDemand REF


Guidère, Mathieu. Historical Dictionary of Islamic Fundamentalism. Scarecrow. 2012. 504p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780810878211. $95. Online: eBooks on EBSCOhost, Overdrive, MyiLibrary, EBL, & Questia. REF

Burrows, Terry & others. The History of the Modern World: From 1900 to the Present Day. Carlton, dist. by Sterling. Nov. 2012. 640p. index. ISBN 9781780971834. $45. REF

political science

The Oxford Companion to American Politics. 2 vols. Oxford Univ. 2012. 1152p. ed. by David Coates. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199764310. $395. Online: Oxford Reference Library at REF

social sciences

Warner, Judith A. Women and Crime: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. (Contemporary World Issues). 2012. 339p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598844238. $68. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection. 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.