Reference Reviews | January 2013

Okihiro, Gary Y. Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. 3 vols. Salem Pr. 2012. 1300p. (Great Lives From History Series). ISBN 9781587658600. $395. Online: Salem History Database REF

“Asian” here includes peoples from Syria to Japan; coverage of the Pacific Islands includes Hawaii and Samoa; and some Asians who lived only briefly in the United States are profiled. Entries provide name pronunciation, photos (usually), and occasional contextual sidebars; separate sections briefly cover the subject’s early life, work, and significance, and the entries close with further-reading suggestions. The more than 480 subjects covered include notables in the arts, athletics, business, science, social action, and education (but not Michelle Rhee); among the criteria for selection was appeal to high-school readers. Appendixes offer lists by era and of research libraries, literary works, and societies; a bibliography; mediagraphy; and contributors’ and website directories. In addition to the general index there are indexes by category and geography. Although this is an impressive collection with many contemporary names, and more writers than any other group, there are some surprising omissions in literature alone: e.g., Don Lee (long-acclaimed third-generation Korean-American fiction writer), Amit Majmudar (esteemed poet and novelist) and Daniyal Mueenuddin (prize-winning short-story writer), Julie Otsuka, Mohsin Hamid, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Suketu Mehta, Monique Truong, et al. Susan Choi, Jessica Hagedorn, Lê Th Dim Thúy, Kiran Desai, Chitra Divakaruni, and Khalid Hosseini lack entries but their titles are featured on the literary works list. Access to an online version allowing integrated searches with other Salem History titles is free with purchase of the print set. VERDICT Overall, a useful and inspiring diversity resource.—Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George’s School, Newport, RI

Carrillo, Karen Juanita. African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events. Greenwood. Aug. 2012. 420p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781598843606. $89. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Carrillo provides concise, chronologically arranged information on events, people, social movements, legislation, Supreme Court decisions, and education that had significant influence on African-American history. Most dates have at least one or two major entries followed by lesser-known but noteworthy events. The first day listed is January 1, 1808, which saw the banning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the United States by President Thomas Jefferson; an excerpt from the act is included at the end of the entry. Other noteworthy entries’ coverage includes the opening of Alcorn State University, Aretha Franklin’s birth, the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold provisions of the Voting Rights Act, formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the publication of the first issue of the North Star in Rochester, New York. At the conclusion of each entry are references to books and websites for additional information.  Verdict Researchers needing to find a date for a specific event will find this book to be a valuable resource. It will be a solid addition to the reference collections of high school, academic, and public libraries. —Diane Fulkerson, University of South Florida, Lakeland

The Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War. 3 vols. ABC-CLIO. Jan. 2013. 1056p. ed. by Tucker Spencer. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781851098538. $310. Online: ABC-CLIO eBook Collection REF

Close on the heels of the recent Encyclopedia of the War of 1812 , prolific writer/editor Tucker (Encyclopedia of North American Conflicts to 1775 and The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia ) has returned to the milieu of military history. This encyclopedia addresses the much forgotten and maligned conflict between Mexico and the United States (1846-1848), one that most historians regard as an appalling display of American Manifest Destiny as well as the seedbed of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Sparsely populated with black-and-white maps, portraits, illustrations, and cartoons, the alphabetically arranged volumes represent the latest, most up-to-date information on the war and introduce readers to critical figures, battles, concepts, and surrounding ideas. Examples of entries include “Atrocities,” “James Fenimore Cooper,” “James K. Polk,” “Sabine River,” and “Young American Movement.” Each entry is lucidly written and logically constructed and includes “see also” terms and a handful of references for further research. Volume Three offers 146 pertinent documents, each with its own brief introduction, related to the conflict, including David Wilmot’s Wilmot Proviso, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the entirety of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. VERDICT Tucker’s knack for skillful editing has again provided high schools and undergraduate collections with a worthy title that is both expansive in scope and expressive in style. —Brian Odom, Pelham Public Library, AL

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


Grossman, Mark. Constitutional Amendments. An Encyclopedia of the People, Procedures, Politics, Primary Documents, Campaigns for the 27 Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. 2 vols. Grey House.Nov. 2012. 2000p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781592379996. $225; ebk. ISBN 9781619250031. REF

Native Peoples of the World. 3 vols.: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures, and Contemporary Issues. Sharpe Reference. 2013. 877p. ed. by Steven Danver. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780765682222. pap. Online: Sharpe Online Reference Global History and Culture Collection. REF


Capriccioso, Richard P. Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 4 Vols. Salem Pr. 2012. 1536p. (Salem Health Series). ISBN 9781587658709. $495. Online: Salem Science database REF

Mahrok, C.S. The World in 2099: World Energy Supply, Minerals Supply, Food Supply and Population. Dr. C.S. Mahrok. 2012. 204p. bibliog. ISBN 9781300114970. pap. $23.95 REF


Health and Social Issues of Native American Women. Praeger. 2012. 289p. index. ISBN 9780313397134. $48. 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.