Reference Reviews | November 15, 2012

Marvel, Matthew R. The Encyclopedia of New Venture Management. SAGE. 2012. 512p. index. ISBN 9781412990813. $125. Online: SAGE Reference Online Ref

Marvel (management and entrepreneurial studies, Western Kentucky Univ.) has compiled 193 entries spanning the field of new venture management, also known as entrepreneurship. The essays are by 128 different contributors, most of whom are affiliated with a college or university. Subjects run the gamut from abstract (cognition, human capital theory, innovation diffusion, planning fallacy) to more practical areas of entrepreneurship (insurance, patent protection, test markets, trademarks). Entries generally range in length from two to five pages and each is followed by cross-references and suggestions for further reading. The volume also contains a chronology highlighting important developments in the field from 1790 to 2012, a short glossary, a resource guide, a brief appendix listing notable websites, and a comprehensive index. Readers will likely need to consult the index to find a specific topic or subtopic since many essays have very general titles. However, that is the only obvious drawback to this otherwise well-written, decidedly informative volume. VERDICT Since the academic study of entrepreneurship is relatively new to business education, this is a much-needed general reference to accompany the quickly expanding body of literature related to new venture management. Recommended for libraries that serve high school students and undergraduates studying entrepreneurship and related fields.—Jennifer Michaelson, Cleveland

Corporate Disasters. Gale Cengage. 2012. ed. by Ferrara, Miranda H. 500p. ISBN 9781414496184. $462. Online: Gale Virtual Reference Library Ref

These almost 100 entries analyze retail, manufacturing, and finance companies that have failed—and in some cases rebounded—after exhibiting bad decisions in management, marketing, or strategy. The material covers recent debacles such as Bernie Madoff’s investment Ponzi scheme and AIG’s post-bailout payout of executive bonuses, but also delves into historical accounts of the U.S. Stock Market crashes of 1929 and 1987, and explanations of early investment schemes such as the 18th-century South Sea Market Bubble. One entry offers a fascinating glimpse into Mark Twain’s inventive patents on an adjustable clothing strap to replace suspenders, a scrapbook with adhesive-ready pages, and a historical board game. Essays of interest to high school and undergraduate marketing classes include “Enron Corporation’s Bankruptcy,” “McDonald’s French Fry Controversy,” “Napster and RIAA Go to Court,” “Toyota Vehicle Recalls,” “Kodak Film Company Bankruptcy,” and many more. A thematic table of contents steers readers to articles on commonly sought subjects such as mergers and acquisitions, lawsuits, accounting irregularities, and consumer health concerns. While the entries are not individually authored, contributors include business journalists and researchers who have an accessible writing style, and have chunked information using subheadings and included bibliographies at the end of each article. VERDICT Material with an unusual focus that’s made accessible by a solid general index and unique focus creates in this work a valuable reference tool for high school and undergraduate economics, business, and marketing classes.—Vicki ­Reutter, Cazenovia Jr. Sr. High School, NY

CQ Press Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy: A Diplomatic History. 2 vols. CQ Pr. 2012. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781608719105. $400. Online: CQ Press Electronic Library Ref

McMahon’s text features the “complex…colorful…controversial and contested history and role of American foreign relations” from the Colonial period to today. Topics featured include Manifest Destiny, the Spanish American War, the two World Wars, and the end of the Soviet Union. Each time period ends with “Diplomatic Milestones,” while each chapter concludes with cross references, endnotes, and sources for further reading. Particular attention is paid to the Cold War era. The more than 220 pages on that time feature topics such as the Berlin Airlift, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and President Nixon’s trip to China in the early 1970s. The set is rounded out by a list of illustrations, a list of key terms, an acronyms directory, a list of the Presidents and their Secretaries of State (or of War) and their National Security Advisors, and a lengthy bibliography. VERDICT An unbiased, factual review of historical periods and subjects that is suitable for college and adult researchers.—Beth Bland, Milwaukee, WI

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


Derks, Scott. This Is Who We Were: A Companion to the 1940 Census. Grey House. 2012. 458p. index. ISBN 9781619250079. $150. Online: Ebrary, Gale, MyILibrary, eBooks on EBSCOhost, OverDrive or Grey House GOLD database Ref

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About the American Presidents: Everything You Need To Know About the Most Powerful Office on Earth and the Men Who Have Occupied It. Hyperion. 2012. c.752p. ISBN 9781401324087. $27.99. Ref

Porter, Joy. Land and Spirit in Native America. Praeger. (Native America: Today and Yesterday). 2012. c.203p. ISBN 9780313356063. $48. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection Ref


Riggs, Thomas. The Literature of War. Gale Cengage. 2012. c.1350p. ISBN 9781558628427. $400. Online: Gale Virtual Reference Library Ref

The Lion Handbook of Science and Christianity. Lion, dist. by IPG, dist. by Trafalgar Square. 2012. 288p. ed. by R.J. Berry. photogs. index. ISBN 9780745953465. $34.95. Ref

CQ Press Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch. 5th ed. 2 vols. CQ Pr. 2012. ed. by Michael Nelson. ISBN 9781608719068. $425. Online: CQ Press Electronic Library 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.